Indiana ACLU: No rush to halt judge’s pause on abortion ban

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Attorneys for Indiana abortion rights supporters argued Monday there is no rush to suspend a judge’s decision temporarily letting abortions continue in the state. It’s the latest legal step in the fight over the state’s recent abortion ban.

Indiana’s abortion ban, which has few exceptions, was approved by the Republican-dominated Legislature in early August. But it was put on hold by a judge on Sept. 22, about a week after it took effect. Hours later, the state filed an appeal of the judge’s decision and a motion asking the Indiana Supreme Court to take up the case.

In court documents Monday, lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana called the state’s motion “hastily filed” and argued the case does not need to go to the Supreme Court. That’s because lawyers for the state “have not established that an emergency exists that justifies departure from normal procedure and deliberation by the Court of Appeals,” the ACLU wrote.

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office, which filed the appeal, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Indiana was the first state to enact tighter abortion restrictions after the U.S. Supreme Court eliminated federal abortion protections by overturning Roe v. Wade in June. The abortion ban divided state lawmakers and Indiana residents during a special legislative session this past summer.

The ban replaced state laws that generally prohibited abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy and tightly restricted them after the 13th week.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit in August seeking to block the abortion ban. The suit is on behalf of abortion-rights supporters including Planned Parenthood, which operates four of Indiana’s seven licensed abortion clinics; groups that operate two of the other clinics; and a doctor who performs abortions.

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