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

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 or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.