Indiana state law now protects preborn babies, and their mothers from the tragedy of abortion as the first law passed after Roe’s reversal went into effect on Thursday, September 15.
The measure became law in early August after the legislature held a special session and the bill was subsequently signed by the governor.
The new law protects babies beginning at the moment of conception and permits exceptions when the life or physical health of the mother is at risk, in cases of incest and rape or when there is a fatal fetal abnormality. Prior to the new law’s passage, abortion was permitted until 20 weeks gestation.
Indiana was the first state to pass legislation restricting abortion after the Dobbs decision was released in late June, overturning Roe v. Wade. Since then, West Virginia’s legislature has also passed legislation restricting abortion.
The ACLU and Planned Parenthood are challenging the constitutionality of the new pro-life law.
In August, the groups filed a lawsuit, alleging that the law violates the right to privacy and guarantee of equal privileges and immunities under the state constitution.
Abortion activists attempted to halt the law from going into effect by requesting a temporary restraining order, but that request was denied on the day of the law’s enactment.
The next expected court hearing in the case is on September 19, when the court will hear arguments requesting that the pro-life law be enjoined while litigation continues. If the judge decides not to intervene, the law will stay in effect throughout the remainder of the legal challenge.
For now, the seven abortion clinics in Indiana are barred from providing any abortion services.
Indiana Right to Life celebrated the enactment of the new law and said in a statement, “Today marks a new opportunity for all of us in Indiana to come together to show true love and compassion for pregnant mothers and their unborn babies. It’s taken 50 years, and the loss of over 500,000 lives to abortion in Indiana alone, to finally arrive at this day.”
The statement continued, “This historic moment is not about who wins and who loses, or about mere politics and court battles, but about a fresh new hope that a movement of the heart will unfold in Indiana that sets the pace for protecting life and providing the care and support pregnant mothers deserve.”
Yes, indeed. Changing laws is one thing. Moving hearts and minds on the issue of abortion is something else entirely. Both are important, and must be addressed. There is still much work to be done on both fronts.
We rejoice that the law in Indiana now reflects the moral truth that all human life is valuable and worthy of protection under the law.
Photo from Shutterstock.