INDIANAPOLIS — A federal judge is allowing an Indiana law largely banning a second-trimester abortion procedure to take effect following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to end constitutional protection for abortion.
U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s order signed Thursday lifts the injunction she issued in 2019 blocking the law against the procedure that the Republican-backed legislation called “dismemberment abortion.”
Barker granted a request from the Indiana attorney general’s office to lift her order, writing that the Supreme Court’s decision last month overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling removed the “linchpin holdings” for her analysis.
The law prohibits doctors from performing dilation and evacuation abortions unless to prevent serious health risk or save the life of the mother. A doctor violating the law could face a felony charge, punishable by up to six years in prison.
Barker, however, declined to lift her injunction against a 2017 Indiana law that would require parents to be notified if a court allows a girl younger than 18 to get abortion without parental consent. Barker cited procedural reasons, pointing out that the challenge of that law was pending with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.
Indiana could have more sweeping abortion restrictions by sometime next month as the Republican-dominated Legislature is scheduled to begin a special legislative session July 25.
Indiana Right to Life President/CEO Mike Fichter issued a statement following the ruling:
"Dismemberment abortions are over in Indiana immediately, thanks to the AG's forethought and prompt action to lift the injunction blocking the will of Hoosiers to stop this brutality against unborn babies. We have confidence in the people of Indiana and our elected leaders to further protect the unborn and to support and care for pregnant mothers in the upcoming special session. This law reflects the will of the people, underscoring the love and compassion of Hoosiers across the state and their belief that everyone deserves to be born."
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