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U.S. Supreme Court Acts On Two Indiana Abortion Cases, Leaving Advocates Confused

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Lauren Chapman
/
IPB News

The U.S. Supreme Court ordered an appeals court to re-examine lawsuits involving two Indiana anti-abortion laws Thursday.

The appeals court had already halted both laws and abortion rights advocates are confused by the Supreme Court’s latest action.

One lawsuit is about a 2016 statute that requires a woman to have an ultrasound at least 18 hours before her abortion. The other involves a 2017 law that says a judge can tell an underage girl’s parents that she’s asking the court to waive a parental consent requirement for an abortion.

Federal district and appeals courts already halted both laws. But the Supreme Court – after a recent decision striking down a Louisiana anti-abortion law – says the 7th Circuit should look over the cases again.

ACLU of Indiana legal director Ken Falk said he’s not sure why.

“From our point of view, the law is the same," Falk said. "And that was the law that led to the district court and the Court of Appeals in both decisions finding that we should obtain a preliminary injunction.”

Both laws remain barred from taking effect.

In a statement, Indiana Right to Life – the state's leading anti-abortion organization – said it is "cautiously optimistic" the 7th Circuit will decide the cases differently this time.

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

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.