IN Brief

Court denies Rokita request to fast-track appeal over abortion ban injunction

By: - September 28, 2022 11:30 am
Fetal remains

Indiana Court of Appeals denies a request from the state attorney general to expedite an appeal over the state’s near-total abortion ban. (Getty Images)

The Indiana Court of Appeals on Tuesday rejected a request from Attorney General Todd Rokita to fast-track his appeal of the pause on the state’s near-total abortion ban.

A three-judge panel unanimously denied the request without further explanation.

Rokita, a Republican, asked the Appeals Court to set aside a preliminary injunction issued by a lower court last week, which temporarily blocks enforcement of Indiana’s abortion ban while the matter continues to play out in court.

Judge Kelsey Blake Hanlon, of Owen County, issued the injunction Thursday in a lawsuit that seeks to strike down Indiana’s near-total abortion ban. The court order from Hanlon, a Republican, halted the state’s new abortion law one week after it took effect. Under the injunction, the state’s previous abortion law stands — allowing abortions up to 20 weeks.

The state attorney general’s office on Friday appealed Hanlon’s ruling and argued that the appellate court “should not further postpone the resolution of an issue of immense legal, political, and practical significance to the State and its people.”   

Lawyers representing the state are hoping to advance the issue straight to the Indiana Supreme Court.

The court challenge up for debate was filed in Monroe County Circuit Court last month by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Indiana on behalf of health care providers and a pregnancy resource center.

They argue that the abortion ban blocks patients from exercising a “fundamental right to privacy,” which the Indiana Constitution protects as an individual liberty. The Supreme Court of the United States in June ruled that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee abortion rights.

The court set an Oct. 3 deadline for the ACLU of Indiana to respond to the state’s appeal.

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Casey Smith
Casey Smith

A lifelong Hoosier, Casey Smith previously reported on the Indiana Legislature for The Associated Press. Smith has had internships and fellowships at the Investigative Program in Berkeley, California, The Indianapolis Star, the Investigative Reporting Workshop in Washington, D.C., The Washington Post, National Geographic, USA Today and other publications. Internationally, she has reported on water quality across South America. She holds a master’s degree in investigative reporting and narrative science writing from the University of California/Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She previously earned degrees in journalism, anthropology and Spanish from Ball State University, where she now serves as an instructor of journalism.

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