August 22, 2023

Indiana Pro-Life Law Takes Effect as State Supreme Court Rejects Appeal for Rehearing

On August 21, an Indiana law protecting the unborn at all stages of development came into effect. The Indiana Supreme Court rejected the ACLU's request to rehear its case challenging Indiana Senate Bill 1. This request only served to artificially extend an injunction preventing Indiana from enforcing the law, which was signed into law by Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb in August 2022.

The law contains exceptions only for rape, incest, when the mother's life is at risk, or when the child is diagnosed with a fatal anomaly.

The Indiana Supreme Court ruled in July that the law does not violate the Indiana Constitution. Justice Derek R Molter wrote in the majority opinion that the state constitution, “protects a woman’s right to an abortion that is necessary to protect her life or to protect her from a serious health risk, but the General Assembly otherwise retains broad legislative discretion for determining whether and the extent to which to prohibit abortions.”

The ACLU responded with a petition arguing that the new law's definition of a "serious health risk" would restrict abortion more than the court's decision would allow. The ACLU requested that the Supreme Court keep the law on hold while it pursues a narrower injunction in a trial court.

This request was submitted just as the law was about to take effect on August 1, 2023. Since the Indiana Supreme Court was required to respond before the law could take effect, the ACLU's last-minute action served to artificially extend the injunction barring the law's enforcement.

“My office promised to defend Indiana’s pro-life law, and we have done that every step of the way,” said pro-life Attorney General Todd Rokita. “Today, the Indiana Supreme Court certified its opinion rejecting a constitutional challenge to Indiana’s pro-life law, which protects the lives of innocent, unborn babies. This is great news for Hoosier life and liberty. We defeated the pro-death advocates who try to interject their views in a state that clearly voted for life