Roberts grants Indiana’s request for quick hearing on abortion law

Katie R. Ochoa
Roberts grants Indiana's request for quick hearing on abortion law
An order signed by Chief Justice John Roberts on Monday granted Indiana’s request for an expedited hearing on the constitutionality of its abortion parental notification law. File pool photo by Erin Schaff/UPI | License Photo

July 18 (UPI) — The Supreme Court Monday issued an order clearing the way for Indiana to try to implement a state law requiring parental consent in order for a minor to get an abortion.

Chief Justice John Roberts granted a request by state officials seeking a quick legal judgment on the measure, which was passed in 2017 but has since been blocked as unconstitutional under the Roe vs. Wade decision.

That landmark decision was overturned by the Roberts court last month in the Dobbs vs. Jackson case.

Monday’s order grants the state’s request to bypass normal court procedures and move the case quickly to a federal appeals court for immediate implementation in light of Dobbs vs. Jackson.

Without the order, it would have taken 30 days for the case to return to the lower courts.

Indiana’s strict parental notification law was first blocked by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017, when it ruled the law ran afoul of precedent on nationwide abortion rights. The law would require anyone under age 18 to notify a parent or guardian, or to obtain permission from a juvenile court, to obtain the procedure in Indiana.

It has since been stalled at the 7th Circuit.

“Given that the preliminary injunction is without legal basis and that it is inflicting irreparable harm to important state interests, there is no reason to delay transmittal of this court’s judgment,” Thomas Fisher, Indiana’s solicitor general, wrote in court papers filed last week.

The move comes as Indiana grapples with the controversy surrounding the case of a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio who traveled to Indianapolis for an abortion, which has become a national flashpoint in the abortion debate.

Gerson Fuentes, the 27-year-old man accused of raping and impregnating the girl, was jailed in lieu of $2 million bond last week in Franklin County, Ohio, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

A grand jury was set to review Fuentes’ case for potential indictment, with a possible decision coming as early as this week.

Meanwhile, a state judge in Louisiana on Monday extended a temporary restraining order blocking that state’s “trigger ban” on abortions for at least one more day.

District Judge Donald Johnson ruled to keep the order in place at least until the Louisiana Attorney General’s office can provide more information in a hearing set for Tuesday morning, WAFB-TV and WRKF Radio reported.

During a hearing in Shreveport, Johnson said he would rule Tuesday to potentially extend the restraining order or to lift it, allowing the state’s abortion ban to take effect.

The judge awarded the temporary restraining order last week at the request of the Center for Reproductive Rights. Louisiana is one of 13 Republican-led states to pass a trigger ban on abortion, which was intended to take effect immediately after Roe vs. Wade was struck down.

Abortion opponents celebrate after the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade, ending federal abortion protection in Washington on Friday. Photo by Jemal Countess/UPI | License Photo

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