Indiana judge temporarily stops state's new abortion law

Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita said his office plans to appeal the decision.
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A pro-abortion protest outside the Supreme Court
A pro-abortion protest outside the Supreme Court
(JIM WATSON/Getty)

A county judge in Indiana on Thursday ordered a temporary halt to Indiana's abortion law that effectively limits the procedure to incidents of incest or rape and to preventing a serious health risk or death of the mother.

Special Judge Kelsey B. Hanlon wrote in issuing the temporary injunction that although abortion was not legal at the time the Indiana Constitution was written, language in the document suggests "a reasonable likelihood" that decisions about family planning – including whether to carry a pregnancy to term – are protected.

Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita said his office plans to appeal the decision.

The ruling is in response to a suit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and clinics that provide abortion – following the signing of a state Senate bill that banned abortions in Indiana except in certain case of rape or incest, a serious risk to the life of the mother or fatal fetal anomalies.

The case was filed in Monroe County. Hanlon who presides in Owen County and is a Republican, received the case after three Monroe County judges, all Democrats, passed on it, according to the Indianapolis Star newspaper.

"We knew this ban would cause irreparable harm to Hoosiers," Planned Parenthood and ACLU groups in Indiana and elsewhere in country said in a joint statement. "We are grateful that the court granted much needed relief."