Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, signed the near-total abortion ban in early August after the state’s Republican lawmakers approved it. The measure prohibits abortion at the point of conception, allowing for the termination of a pregnancy only in cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormality, or when the pregnant person could die. Current law in the state allows for the procedure to be performed at up to 22 weeks of pregnancy.
The Associated Press reports that Hanlon wrote, “There is reasonable likelihood that this significant restriction of personal autonomy offends the liberty guarantees of the Indiana Constitution,” and allowed the state’s seven clinics to resume care for patients. The order further halts the state from imposing the ban as the case is unsettled.
The Indiana suit is followed by another filed in the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division, against Ohio Attorney General David Yost.
The Ohio suit, filed by Preterm-Cleveland on behalf of multiple unnamed plaintiffs, cites numerous affidavits from minors who were made pregnant by sexual assault but unable to access abortion care, as well as pregnant adults who were refused abortion care, resulting in dangerous medical emergencies and in at least two cases, having to pause chemotherapy at the risk of felony charges.
The Ohio Capital Journal reports the affidavits were successful in at least temporarily pausing the abortion law and extending the pause to Oct. 14. A ruling in favor of the plaintiffs would find Ohio’s “heartbeat ban” unconstitutional.
In July, Daily Kos reported about the case of a 10-year-old sexual assault survivor who was forced to leave Ohio and travel to a physician in Indiana for a legal abortion. At the time, many in the GOP denied the veracity of the story, and Yost threatened to investigate the Indiana doctor who ultimately provided the child’s abortion care across state lines.
In another staunchly red Midwestern state, in early August, Kansas voted down the anti-choice constitutional amendment in an overwhelming 18-point trouncing, as reported by Daily Kos’ Christopher Reeves.
Rep. Phil GiaQuinta, a Democrat, who has assailed the Indiana bill, told the Times, “Judging by the results I saw in Kansas the other day … independents, Democrats, and Republicans by their votes demonstrated what is most important to them, and me, and that is our personal freedoms and liberty.”