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Religious freedom challenge to Indiana abortion ban not going directly to state Supreme Court

By Brandon Smith, IPB News | Published on in Government, Health, Law, Politics
The Indiana Supreme Court denied a request from the Indiana attorney general to hear a direct appeal of a trial court ruling in a lawsuit challenging the state's near-total abortion ban. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

A lawsuit challenging Indiana’s near-total abortion ban on religious freedom grounds will go through the normal appeals process and not directly to the Indiana Supreme Court.

A Marion County judge ruled in December that the 2022 abortion law likely violates Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Attorney General Todd Rokita’s office appealed that ruling directly to the state Supreme Court.

READ MORE: Judge temporarily blocks Indiana abortion ban on religious freedom grounds

The court Monday denied the attorney general’s direct appeal request in the case, without explanation. That means the lawsuit will now go through the normal appeals process, heading first to the Court of Appeals.

This case is separate from a lawsuit that challenged the abortion ban on state constitutional grounds. That suit did go directly to the Supreme Court, which is currently considering a ruling.

The ban currently remains temporarily blocked in both lawsuits.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.