The Indiana Supreme Court issued a decision Friday that said the state’s abortion ban was constitutional in a 4-1 ruling, according to the text.
Senate Bill 1 was signed into law in 2022 and prohibited abortion with limited exceptions in the case of preventing “serious health risk of the pregnant woman or to save the pregnant woman’s life,” if the child is diagnosed with a “lethal fetal anomaly” or rape or incest, according to the bill’s text. The law was quickly halted by a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood Great Northwest before being vacated by the state Supreme Court, which ruled that the law did not violate the Indiana Constitution. (RELATED: Red State Gov Signs Amendment To 12 Week Abortion Ban Into Law)
Justice Derek R. Molter wrote the majority opinion and agreed that Indiana law protected a woman’s right to abortion when her life was at risk, but acknowledged that in all other areas the “General Assembly otherwise retains broad legislative discretion for determining whether and the extent to which to prohibit abortions.”
In a partial dissent, Justice Christopher Goff argued that the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center, which ruled that there was no constitutional right to abortion, meant that states should place the decision of abortion directly in the hands of voters, according to the text.
“More importantly, I believe that the abortion question is fundamentally a matter of constitutional dimension that should be decided directly by the sovereign people of Indiana,” Goff wrote. “I would thus urge my colleagues in the General Assembly to put before Hoosier voters the question whether the term “liberty” in Article 1, Section 1 of the Indiana Constitution protects a qualified right to bodily autonomy.”
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita applauded the court’s decision in a press release, saying that the decision was a “long one in coming.”
“The Indiana Supreme Court has just upheld the abortion laws passed by the Indiana General Assembly,” Rokita said. “We celebrate this day – one long in coming, but morally justified. Thank you to all the warriors who have fought for this day that upholds LIFE.”
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