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Judge deals blow to pro-life movement in Indiana, rules against various abortion-related restrictions

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A federal judge on Tuesday ruled against multiple Indiana abortion law provisions that had been challenged in a 2018 lawsuit, according to the Indianapolis Star.

The outlet reported that U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker levied a permanent injunction blocking state employees from enforcing or administering a number of provisions, while also determining that various other provisions that had been challenged did not run afoul of the U.S. Constitution and can continue to be active in the state.

The Associated Press reported that U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker levied a permanent injunction against a prohibition on telemedicine consultations between physicians and women seeking abortions.The judge also targeted the requirement for in-person exams by a physician prior to medication abortions and the prohibition against second-trimester abortions in facilities other than hospitals and surgery centers, according to the AP.

The judge ruled against state law provisions requiring physicians to inform women pursuing abortions that human life starts at fertilization and that a fetus may experience pain at or prior to 20 weeks, according to the AP.

The judge determined that the requirement regarding the point at which life initiates was unconstitutional and wrote that "this mandatory disclosure does not communicate truthful and non-misleading information," according to the Associated Press.

The AP noted that the judge upheld requiring an ultrasound 18 hours prior to an abortion.

"We will continue to fight to defend Indiana's commonsense abortion laws and to build a culture of life in Indiana," Republican state Attorney General Todd Rokita said in a statement, according to the AP.

"This is a horrific ruling that will directly lead to a massive expansion of chemical and late term abortions in Indiana. The sweeping blockage of these common sense laws jeopardizes the health and safety of women, leaves women in the dark on issues of fetal pain and the development of human life, and places communities like Fort Wayne and Evansville clearly in the crosshairs for abortion business expansion. This is judicial activism at its absolute worst," Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter said in a statement.

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