The U.S. Supreme Court ordered an appeals court to re-examine lawsuits involving two Indiana anti-abortion laws Thursday.
The appeals court had already halted both laws and abortion rights advocates are confused by the Supreme Court’s latest action.
One lawsuit is about a 2016 statute that requires a woman to have an ultrasound at least 18 hours before her abortion. The other involves a 2017 law that says a judge can tell an underage girl’s parents that she’s asking the court to waive a parental consent requirement for an abortion.
Federal district and appeals courts already halted both laws. But the Supreme Court – after a recent decision striking down a Louisiana anti-abortion law – says the 7th Circuit should look over the cases again.
ACLU of Indiana legal director Ken Falk said he’s not sure why.
“From our point of view, the law is the same," Falk said. "And that was the law that led to the district court and the Court of Appeals in both decisions finding that we should obtain a preliminary injunction.”
Both laws remain barred from taking effect.
In a statement, Indiana Right to Life – the state's leading anti-abortion organization – said it is "cautiously optimistic" the 7th Circuit will decide the cases differently this time.