IN Brief

Federal judge lifts order against Indiana abortion procedure ban

By: - July 8, 2022 12:20 pm

(Getty Images)

A federal judge has allowed an Indiana law that largely bans a common second-trimester abortion procedure to take effect following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker signed an order Thursday to allow the Republican-backed ban on “dismemberment abortions.” That was after Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita’s office requested for the judge to lift her 2019 injunction that blocked the law.

“The court’s ruling this week vacating its earlier injunction that permitted this gruesome procedure to continue is an exciting battle victory in our war to defend the unborn and protect women,” Rokita said in a statement Friday. “My office will continue to take all necessary steps to limit abortion, assist mothers, empower families to choose life, and ultimately protect the lives of the unborn.”

The state law prohibits dilation and evacuation abortions unless the procedure prevents a serious health risk or saves the life of the mother. The procedure is used in a “majority of abortions performed after the early part of the second trimester,” according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana.

A doctor violating the law could face a felony charge, punishable by up to six years in prison.

The ACLU sued Indiana in an effort to block the law in 2019. Barker issued an injunction, preventing the state from enforcing the law, days before it was scheduled to take effect.

The federal judge declined to lift her injunction against a 2017 measure that would require parents to be notified if a court grants permission to a girl younger than 18 to get an abortion, citing procedural reasons. A challenge to that law remains pending in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago.

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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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