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Abortion stays legal in Indiana through end of 2022; state Supreme Court to hear challenge to ban

The interior of the Indiana Supreme Court Chambers in the Indiana Statehouse. The justices' chairs sit behind a long, wooden, elevated desk. Each of the justices has a name plate on the desk, indicating where they sit. There is a red curtain behind the chairs. Adorning the walls to the side of the desk are photos of current and past justices. The American and Indiana flags flank the desk.
Brandon Smith
/
IPB News
The Indiana Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal in a lawsuit that challenges the state's near-total abortion ban. The Court opted to keep the ban from being enforced while the appeal is ongoing.

Abortion will remain legal in Indiana through at least the end of the year.

That comes with the latest step in a lawsuit challenging the state’s near-total abortion ban – a suit now headed for the state’s highest court.

The ban, SEA 1(ss), only allows abortion if the pregnant person’s life or serious physical health is at risk, in some cases of lethal fetal anomalies and in some cases of rape or incest.

An Owen County judge ruled last month that the ban likely violates the Indiana Constitution and ordered the state not to enforce it.

READ MORE: Indiana's near-total abortion ban temporarily halted by local judge

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Attorney General Todd Rokita appealed that decision and asked the Indiana Supreme Court to bypass the Court of Appeals and take the case directly.

The state Supreme Court Wednesday agreed to do so, setting a hearing for Jan. 12. In the meantime, the court rejected Rokita’s request to reinstate the ban while the appeal is ongoing.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.