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Judge Halts Key Parts Of New Indiana Anti-Abortion Law

Judge Sarah Evans Barker temporarily halted portions of Indiana's new anti-abortion law two weeks after hearing arguments at the federal courthouse in downtown Indianapolis.

Key parts of Indiana’s new anti-abortion law won’t take effect after federal Judge Sarah Evans Barker issued a temporary injunction to prevent the state from enforcing three parts of the controversial measure, ruled the provisions unconstitutional.

The first provision involves parental notification. If an underage girl doesn’t or can’t get consent for an abortion from her parents, she can go to court for that consent. The new law says a judge can decide if the parents are informed of that hearing.

Judge Barker’s decision says that provision would prevent some girls from even attempting to ask the court for consent. The state argued the law should take effect first before judging its impact. But Barker noted that girls asking a court for consent are sometimes subject to threats of abuse, intimidation, or physical violence from their parents.

And the judge writes, “The Court need not sit idly by while those most vulnerable among us are subjected to unspeakable and horrid acts of violence and perversion.”

A second provision requires parents to prove, using “some evidence” beyond ID that they are a child’s parents when giving consent for an abortion. Barker ruled the statute too vague to enforce.

The third provision bans Planned Parenthood – or anyone else – from telling a minor about abortion options outside of Indiana. The judge ruled that language violates the First Amendment.

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