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Judge declines to temporarily halt Indiana abortion ban before hearing next week in lawsuit

The southern exterior of the Indiana Statehouse in downtown Indianapolis. The facade is pale limestone, with green roofs on either side. There are three, large wooden double doors at the top of a set of stairs in the center of the building. Above those are columns with tall windows between them and a golden bird atop the center of the building. Bushy green trees flank the stairs as a long beds of grass stretch out, away from the building.
Brandon Smith
IPB News
There are two lawsuits challenging Indiana's near-total abortion ban.

Indiana’s near-total abortion ban won’t be halted by a temporary restraining order. That’s after a county judge Thursday denied the ACLU of Indiana’s request for such an order.

There are two lawsuits challenging the ban. The first, which challenges it on state constitutional grounds, is set for a hearing Monday. And special judge Kelsey Hanlon declined to issue a temporary halt to the law before that hearing can take place.

Gov. Eric Holcomb said no one was surprised at the lawsuits and that they’re part of the “appropriate process.”

“I think we made progress [with the ban]," Holcomb said. "And we’ll figure out if it holds up in both, the two different lawsuits. We’ll see where they land, ultimately.”

The other lawsuit argues the ban illegally infringes on some Hoosiers’ religious freedom. Asked whether it’s okay for him to impose his personal beliefs on all Hoosiers, Holcomb said that question could apply to lots of issues.

“This is the right venue for the court to decide – is that a bridge too far? Does that impede on your religious beliefs and practice?” Holcomb said.

A hearing in the religious freedom challenge to the abortion ban is set for Oct. 14.

Contact reporter Brandon at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.