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Federal Judge Blocks Abortion Law in Indiana

A federal judge has blocked a new Indiana law that would have banned some abortion procedures. (co.wichita.tx.us)
A federal judge has blocked a new Indiana law that would have banned some abortion procedures. (co.wichita.tx.us)
July 1, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS – Pro-choice advocates say they're ecstatic about Thursday's ruling blocking a new Indiana law that bans abortions based on fetus abnormalities.

The law, HEA 1337, would have gone into effect today (Friday), but U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt granted a preliminary injunction filed by Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky and the ACLU of Indiana.

The groups had argued the law was unconstitutional. Ali Slocum, communications director for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, said it also violated women's privacy rights.

"This cruel law painted a grim picture for Indiana women with its blatant, unwelcome intrusion into private, independent decision-making," said Slocum.

Indiana and North Dakota are the only states with laws that ban abortions because of fetal genetic abnormalities, such as Down syndrome, or because of the race, sex or ancestry of a fetus.

Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed the law into effect in March after it was approved by Indiana's GOP-dominated Legislature. The measure was approved despite objections from many female legislators, including Republicans.

According to Slocum, the governor should take note.

"This decision shows Gov. Mike Pence that he cannot force his religious ideology on Hoosiers," she stated. "It is further compelling recognition by the courts that legislation interfering with women's reproductive rights will not be tolerated."

The group Indiana Right to Life is urging the state to appeal the judge's ruling.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - IN