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Indiana abortion providers renew pledge to fight for care access after state files appeal

The state has filed an appeal, seeking a stay of Thursday's preliminary injunction as they ask Indiana's highest court to take up the case.

INDIANAPOLIS — Some state leaders are fighting back Friday after a preliminary injunction was granted by an Indiana judge, allowing abortion care to resume in the Hoosier State. 

The state has filed an appeal, seeking a stay of Thursday's order as they ask Indiana's highest court to take up the case. On the other side of the lawsuit, abortion providers are doubling down on promises to keep fighting for women. 

"Nobody should have to travel hundreds or thousands of miles from their own community to get a simple, safe, five-minute medical procedure. It's just cruel and it's inhumane, so we're thrilled that we have a reprieve from that law for the time being," said Sharon Lau, director of Midwest Advocacy for Whole Woman's Health Alliance. 

Abortion clinics in Indiana are gearing back up to once again offer care to pregnant people after a judge issued an injunction Thursday, preventing the state from enforcing its near total ban on abortion a little over a week after the new law took effect.

RELATED: Indiana appeals judge's order blocking state's abortion ban

"Unfortunately, we can't resume immediately, because the intent and result of these laws is that we needed to reduce staffing," Lau said. "So we can't just flip a switch. We need to get staff back and doctors on the schedule but we are definitely working toward resuming services as soon as we can."

Lau works with Whole Woman's Health, which operates abortion clinics around the Midwest, including in South Bend. She said that even though abortions can legally resume, the week spent with that ban in place greatly intimidated Hoosier women.

"Patients are not only confused about what the laws are in the various states, but they're concerned about their own legal status and whether they could be arrested. So we spend a lot of time reassuring patients that that is not the case but that they may need to travel out of their own state," Lau said. 

RELATED: Judge grants injunction, blocking enforcement of Indiana's new abortion ban law

Soon after the injunction was granted, allowing Indiana to resume abortion care, the state filed an appeal. They're asking for a stay to stop abortion care while the law's future is decided in the courts and asking the Indiana high court to take up the case.

Lau said she hopes to see the ban overturned once and for all, returning control over a woman's body back to each individual person.

"These laws aren't just for show, they actually put people's lives in danger," Lau said. "And so there are going to be some patients who seek abortion care and can't get it who will die from pregnancy and childbirth-related causes. I think the legislature should be ashamed of themselves and Hoosiers should be demanding safe care and medical care for patients."

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