An Indiana Special Judge will preside over a lawsuit against Indiana’s new abortion ban after two judges previously recused themselves from the case.
Indiana legislators voted in August to ban abortion throughout the state starting Sept. 15 with limited exceptions such as rape, incest or medical emergency cases within the first 10 weeks. Abortion providers conducting the procedure will have their licenses revoked and could potentially face prison time for one to six years and a maximum fine of $10,000.
Indiana was the first state to pass new legislation to ban abortion after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Planned Parenthood, the Lawyering Project, the ACLU of Indiana, and WilmerHale filed the lawsuit on behalf of abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood, Women's Med Group Professional Corp, and All-Options. The suit was filed against the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana and county prosecutors.
The plaintiffs wanted a preliminary injunction against the law going into effect until the suit is completed. The lawsuit accuses the state of violating Indiana’s guarantee of equal privileges and immunities, as well as accusing the law of having vague language, thereby violating the state constitution’s due course of law clause.
Ken Falk, legal director of ACLU of Indiana, stated that “from its very inception, the Indiana Constitution has protected the right to privacy. Implicit in this right is the right for a woman to make medical decisions regarding her own reproductive health.”
The previous two judges, Monroe Circuit Court Judge Holly Harvey and Judge Geoffrey Bradley, respectively, each recused themselves from the case without providing a reason.
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