(Headline USA) A federal judge ruled Tuesday that several of Indiana’s laws restricting abortion are unconstitutional, including the state’s ban on telemedicine consultations between doctors and women seeking abortions.
However, the judge’s ruling also upheld other state abortion limits that were challenged in a broad lawsuit filed by Virginia-based Whole Woman’s Health Alliance in 2018 as it fought the denial of a license to open an abortion clinic in South Bend.
U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker, a Ronald Reagan appointee, issued a permanent injunction against the telemedicine ban, along with state laws requiring in-person examinations by a doctor before medication abortions and the prohibition on second-trimester abortions outside hospitals or surgery centers.
Barker also ruled against state laws requiring that women seeking abortions be told human life begins when the egg is fertilized and that a fetus might feel pain at or before 20 weeks.
The state attorney general’s office has been defending those laws in court. The office didn’t immediately reply Tuesday to a request for comment but has appealed similar rulings against Indiana abortion laws to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Abortion rulings are being closely watched as pro-life advocates hope a conservative majority on the Supreme Court may lead it to overturning the controversial Roe v. Wade decision and others that have long been deemed judicial overreach, establishing a de-facto abortion right without ever having gone through the necessary legislative channels.
Even defeats in the lower courts are welcomed as they help to pave the way for the proper case to be tried before the high court.
One such case, involving recent heartbeat laws passed by the Mississippi legislature, has been supported by at least a dozen other red-state attorneys general.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press