July 31, 2023

More abortion lawsuits likely as Indiana's near-total ban takes effect

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The Indiana Supreme Court ruled that the state's near-total abortion ban does not violate the state constitution's liberty clause.  - Brandon Smith/IPB News

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled that the state's near-total abortion ban does not violate the state constitution's liberty clause.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Indiana’s near-total abortion ban is set to take effect Tuesday after the state Supreme Court OK'd its constitutionality in a recent ruling.

A law professor says that same ruling opened the door for more lawsuits around the ban.

The Supreme Court’s decision said the abortion ban doesn’t violate the state constitution’s guarantee of liberty. But Indiana University law professor Jody Madeira said the ruling almost explicitly invites other challenges to the ban.

“The court just felt that this challenge was too broad," Madeira said. "So, the court might be quite willing to entertain other litigation.”

Madeira said one of the few exceptions to the ban that the court said was constitutionally guaranteed was in cases where the life or serious health of the pregnant person is at risk.

READ MORE: Indiana Supreme Court OKs near-total abortion ban, set to take effect soon

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And she said how, exactly, those risks are defined could be the subject of future lawsuits.

“We could be embroiled in litigation about any number of possible medical scenarios,” Madeira said.

There’s another lawsuit, currently in the appeals court, that challenges the abortion ban from a religious freedom perspective.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Copyright 2023 IPB News. To see more, visit IPB News.

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