Judge to decide on constitutionality of Indiana abortion law within two weeks

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INDIANAPOLIS  — A federal judge is expected to decide within two weeks whether to  block Indiana's new abortion law from taking effect July 1st.

Planned Parenthood wants an injunction to stop the law, known as HEA 1337. The legislation mandates that aborted fetuses be buried or cremated and bans abortions sought because of genetic abnormalities. Planned Parenthood argues the law is unconstitutional and violates women's privacy rights.

The state of Indiana has argued in briefs filed in the case that the court should deny the injunction request. Lawyers for the state say the law is constitutional and a way to ensure "human remains are treated with dignity and respect."

Republican Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed the measure in March.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) President Betty Cockrum tells CBS4 she's encouraged by the judge's reactions at Tuesday morning's hearing.

"We clearly have a strong argument," Cockrum said. "There was a great deal of discussion about not discriminating against fetuses in Indiana, when in fact, there’s all kinds of discrimination against women written into this legislation that we are fighting."

According to our partners at the Indy Star, the solicitor general argued women will still be able to get abortions in Indiana. He added that women will just not be allowed to say ''I want to have a baby. I just don't want to have this baby." Groups like Indiana Right to Life say this law is about protecting the unborn and preventing women from aborting a child because of a potential disability.

"We have those protections for our citizens but we don’t have those protections in the womb," said Sue Swayze, Vice President of Public Affairs for Indiana Right to Life. "So, babies are discriminated against, they are targeted for euthanasia really because of these certain characteristics."

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller issued this statement:

“It is part of our system of checks and balances that challenges to newly enacted legislation are brought to court to have the judicial branch listen to both sides and verify whether a statute the Legislature drafted and passed is constitutional; and the State’s lawyers have a duty to defend the statute. Oral argument is the one opportunity for the lawyers to speak directly to the Court and for the Court to ask questions of the lawyers, and such questions are a normal part of judicial review expected in such cases. This is an emotional subject for many, but we urge respect for the court and the process.”

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