Indiana officials have asked the state Supreme Court to uphold the state’s abortion ban that could be saving as many as 161 babies every day from abortions.
Judge Kelsey Hanlon issued a temporary injunction against the ban, which took effect last week. She claims it violates Article 1, Section 1 of the Indiana Constitution that says that all people have a right to liberty — ignoring that the right should extend to babies before birth.
In her opinion, she claimed the abortion ban violates that section of the state constitution “by making that autonomy largely contingent upon first experiencing extreme sexual violence or significant loss of physical health or death.”
She claimed that “there is a reasonable likelihood that decisions about family planning, including decisions about whether to carry a pregnancy to term” are included in the state’s constitution.
But the state is fighting that decision at a higher level now.
The appeal filed Thursday night with the Indiana Court of Appeals said the court “should stay the trial court’s preliminary injunction pending appeal, and at the very least, should issue a temporary stay while this motion is briefed.”
The appeal was filed by Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher and the state attorney general’s office hours after Owen County Judge Kelsey Hanlon issued a preliminary injunction against the abortion ban
In a separate motion, the state asked the Indiana Supreme Court to accept an emergency transfer of its appeal of the preliminary injunction.
“Only this Court can provide the final word on this hotly contested, high-profile, pure question of law that is of grave importance to the General Assembly and the citizens of Indiana,” that motion states.
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In a recent interview, Indiana Atty. Gen. Todd Rokita said the judge in the case issued a crazy ruling.
“The leaps that have to be made to come to that conclusion are wide and long, and many,” he said.
“What the other side has to do is say, when our Indiana constitution, like the federal one, talks about liberty, inferred in that is the right to privacy. And, then as part of your right to privacy, you have the right to abortion,” he said.
Rokita said the state’s strategy is manifold.
“I’m not saying that there’s absolutely no right to privacy that you could take from our Indiana constitution. But, they’re taking it so far as to extinguish the life of an unborn child.”
Rokita said that since abortion is not specifically mentioned in the document, that the state legislature has the right to make laws to govern it.
“There’s gonna be a lot of different arguments. That’s certainly gonna be one, that the state has a right to make laws for its society, based on the fact that the lawmakers are elected by the people,” he said.
Indiana Right to Life CEO Mike Fichter says there is nothing in the state constitution that protects abortion.
“Today’s blockage of Indiana’s new law means over 161 unborn children will continue to lose their lives to abortion every week this injunction stays in effect. We are encouraged by the judge’s acknowledgement of the state’s legitimate interest in protecting unborn babies and are hopeful the blockage will be brief.”
The lawsuit was filed in southern Indiana’s Monroe County, which includes the liberal-leaning city of Bloomington and Indiana University’s main campus, but two elected Democratic judges from that county declined to handle the case without stating any reasons.
Judge Kelsey Hanlon, a Republican from neighboring Owen County, accepted appointment as special judge last week. Hanlon, who was first elected as a judge in 2014, was among three finalists that the state Judicial Nominating Commission selected in July for GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb to consider for appointment to the state appeals court.
Fichter says the state constitution protects the right to life, not abortion.
He told LifeNews: “Not only is there no right to an abortion in the Indiana Constitution, it actually states life is one of our inalienable rights. We are confident the state will prevail.”
Fichter told LifeNews the abortion ban was a long time coming. He celebrated the day in went into effect but also mourned the loss of almost 500,000 babies killed in abortions in Indiana since Roe v. Wade.
“Today marks a new opportunity for all of us in Indiana to come together to show true love and compassion for pregnant mothers and their unborn babies. It’s taken 50 years, and the loss of over 500,000 lives to abortion in Indiana alone, to finally arrive at this day,” he said.
He said he hoped the law would bring people together to protect pregnant women and their unborn babies.
Fichter added: “This historic moment is not about who wins and who loses, or about mere politics and court battles, but about a fresh new hope that a movement of the heart will unfold in Indiana that sets the pace for protecting life and providing the care and support pregnant mothers deserve.”
Following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade the Indiana legislature became the first in the nation to pass an abortion ban after the Supreme Court overturned Roe. The measure went to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, who signed the bill into law almost immediately.
The Planned Parenthood abortion business is not happy and filed a lawsuit challenging the ban in court.
Under the ban, abortionists would face a loss of their medical license and be charged with a Level 5 felony, which carries a sentence of one to six years in prison, for killing a baby in an abortion.
Indiana Right to Life initially opposed the bill as its first incarnation was weaker and lacked the enforcement mechanism necessary to truly ban aboritons and hold abortionists accountable for killing unborn babies. Fichter told LifeNews the pro-life group is now satisfied with the House version following changes to strengthen it.
“Indiana Right to Life believes substantive changes to SB1 in the House provide renewed hope that over 95% of Indiana’s 8,414 abortions will end if it becomes law. House amendments will make abortion clinics a thing of the past in Indiana, requiring that abortions for limited circumstances be done in hospitals, or hospital-owned surgical centers,” Fichter explained.
He added: “The House also tightened language for the life of the mother exception, limited abortions to ten weeks in circumstances of rape or incest, and limited abortions for lethal fetal anomalies to 20 weeks.”
“We will continue to work to build consensus going forward that all lives are to be valued, regardless of the means of one’s conception,” he said.
Fichter said he expects every abortion business in Indiana to be closed by September once the bill becomes law.
As LifeNews reported, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, with a 6-3 majority ruling in the Dobbs case that “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion” — allowing states to ban abortions and protect unborn babies. The high court also ruled 6-3 uphold the Mississippi 15-week abortion ban so states can further limit abortions and to get rid of the false viability standard.
Chief Justice John Roberts technically voted for the judgment but, in his concurring opinion, disagreed with the reasoning and said he wanted to keep abortions legal but with a new standard.
Texas and Oklahoma had banned abortions before Roe was overturned and Missouri became the first state after Roe to protect babies from abortions and South Dakota became the 2nd. Then Arkansas became the third state protecting babies from abortions and Kentucky became the 4th and Louisiana became the 5th and Ohio became the 6th and Utah became the 7th and Oklahoma became the 8th and Alabama became the 9th. This week, Mississippi became the 10th and South Carolina became the 11th,Texas became the 12th with its pre-Roe law and Tennessee became the 13th.
Michigan, Wisconsin and West Virginia have old pro-life laws on the books but there is question about whether they are applicable and will be enforced.
Ultimately, as many as 26 states could immediately or quickly ban abortions and protect babies from certain death for the first time in nearly 50 years.
The 13 total states with trigger laws that would effectively ban all or most abortions are: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
“Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” Alito wrote.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” Alito wrote. “And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer authored a joint dissent condemning the decision as enabling states to enact “draconian” restrictions on women.
Polls show Americans are pro-life on abortion and a new national poll shows 75% of Americans essentially agree with the Supreme Court overturning Roe.
Despite false reports that abortion bans would prevent doctors from treating pregnant women for miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies, pro-life doctors confirm that is not the case. Some 35 states have laws making it clear that miscarriage is not abortion and every state with an abortion ban allows treatment for both.
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