In Brief

Indiana attorney general asks courts to lift abortion law injunctions

By: - June 28, 2022 1:02 pm

Attorney General Todd Rokita often joins other states in suits and briefs – at what cost to the state? (Photo from Attorney General’s Office)

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita on Monday asked the courts to lift injunctions against numerous Indiana abortion laws after a U.S. Supreme Court decision overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey rulings.

The Republican attorney general said the high court’s “rejection of those woefully misguided precedents” last week means states have “greater authority” to enact and enforce abortion laws.

“Like most Hoosiers, I believe in building a culture of life in Indiana,” Rokita said in a statement Monday. “That means protecting the lives of unborn babies and safeguarding the physical, mental and emotional well-being of their mothers. I’ll do everything in my power to advance this mission.” 

The motions, filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, come ahead of an expected plan by state lawmakers to further restrict access to abortions during a special legislative session on July 6. A new Indiana law could be enacted several weeks later.

The Indiana laws Rokita is asking courts to lift injunctions on include:  

  • a ban on abortions sought specifically because of the unborn child’s race, sex, or disability
  • a ban on “dismemberment abortions”
  • a requirement that parents be notified when a court approves an abortion for a minor child without parental consent (excluding if such notification could endanger the child)

Rokita also filed a request to stop expansion plans for abortion providers in Evansville and South Bend.

“Indiana has a long history of defending life, and the Supreme Court has recognized these contributions,” he said. “Indeed, the Dobbs decision expressly cited multiple Indiana cases — such as our battles to outlaw discriminatory abortion and require respectful disposition of the bodies of aborted babies.“

Indiana Right to Life President Mike Fichter called Rokita’s “swift action” a demonstration of Indiana’s commitment to “protecting life.”

“These cases challenged Indiana’s prohibition on late-term abortion and abortion of children based on discriminatory reasons, such as race, sex and even the national origin of the mother,” Fichter said in a statement Monday. “Today’s action demonstrates that our Indiana leaders realize every life has value, and everyone deserves to be born.”

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Casey Smith
Casey Smith

A lifelong Hoosier, Casey Smith previously reported on the Indiana Legislature for The Associated Press. 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.

Indiana Capital Chronicle is part of States Newsroom, the nation’s largest state-focused nonprofit news organization.

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