Attorney General Rokita: Abortion law is solid, no reason to find it unconstitutional

Attorney General Rokita: abortion law is solid, no reason to find it unconstitutional
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 3:06 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - On September 22, a preliminary injunction was placed on the new abortion law, one week after it went into effect.

That’s after multiple groups sued, claiming the new law violated the state constitution.

Now all eyes are on the Indiana Supreme Court.

“There is no reason to find it unconstitutional so it should survive. Unless you have a situation where the court decides it needs to invent law,” Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita said.

But the Indiana Supreme Court will make the decision.

“We asked for transfer immediately to the Indiana Supreme Court because frankly lives are at stake. Every day that goes by, a human life and many others are going to be extinguished,” Rokita said.

Rokita argues the right to abortion is not protected in the state constitution, however, the Chief Legal Council for Planned Parenthood of Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana and Kentucky disagrees.

Christine Stanley said, “Article 1, Section 1 protects decisions about whether to carry a pregnancy to term, and the AG’s opinions are as dangerously outdated as he is out-of-touch with his constituents.”

If the ban is lifted, the new law which closes abortion clinics and only allows abortions in cases of rape, incest or if the mother’s life is in danger, will go back into effect.

That means the attorney general’s office will begin investigating any abortions that do not meet the narrow exceptions.

“I would bring a case before the medical licensing board and it would be up to them and then there would be appeals and what not afterwards, so it’s in a civil sense, not a criminal sense that the General Assembly decided to enforce this law,” Rokita said.

And if the board decides an illegal abortion was performed.

“It’s a shall provision meaning that if evidence is found, the license of such a doctor that performed an illegal abortion shall be taken away, there is no discretion,” Rokita explained.

But Rokita says the mother won’t face any legal consequences.

“Under this new law I did not see anything in there about punishing the mother,” Rokita said.

Rokita added it will be up to county prosecutors to bring any criminal charges against doctors who perform illegal abortions.

As for an answer from the state supreme court on the legality of the new law, Rokita says no timeline has been given.