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Indiana won’t appeal preliminary block on fetal abnormality abortion ban

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The office of Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has confirmed it will not be challenging a preliminary injunction against enforcing the states’ ban on abortions sought for fetal abnormalities, and will instead focus its efforts on vindicating the constitutional basis for the law.

“After reviewing the case with our clients and discussing the case procedurally with the plaintiffs, the State has no need to pursue an interlocutory appeal at this point since all the State’s legal rights are preserved,” said spokesman Bryan Corbin. “Instead, the case will proceed on the merits to the final judgment stage.”

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana had sued to invalidate the law, arguing that the law amounts to a violation of the “right” to elective abortion created by Roe v. Wade.

US District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt agreed, asking, “How can it be described as anything but a prohibition on the right to an abortion?” She issued a preliminary injunction on June 30.

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State Solicitor General Thomas Fisher responded to Pratt by noting the Supreme Court’s history of upholding a wide variety of abortion restrictions, particularly Planned Parenthood v. Casey’s affirmation that the state can regulate abortion both in the interest of fetal life and maternal health, though he “acknowledge that in many respects this case is the first of its kind.”

Corbin further noted that the state “would likely appeal” if the preliminary injunction was made permanent. The ACLU has announced it will be filing a number of further briefs potentially extending the case into 2017, meaning Indiana’s next governor and attorney general would ultimately determine the state’s response.

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