INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Supreme Court heard oral arguments Thursday in one of its most high-profile cases in recent history: a challenge to Indiana’s near-total ban on abortion.

The ban went into effect briefly in September following a special legislative session but was put on hold by an Owen County judge.

The law bans abortion at all times during pregnancy, except in cases of rape or incest up to 10 weeks post-fertilization, risk to the mother’s health and lethal fetal anomaly.

The hearing lasted about 70 minutes, and the five justices had many questions for the attorneys on both sides. It came months after a group of abortion providers sued the state arguing the abortion law violates Hoosiers’ right to privacy under the state constitution.

“Those who wrote the Indiana constitution did not understand abortion to be a right protected by the constitution,” Tom Fisher, Indiana’s solicitor general, told reporters after the hearing.

Fisher is looking to get the abortion ban back into effect after the temporary injunction was issued in September.

Justice Christopher Goff questioned Fisher about the law’s ban on abortion clinics from performing abortions that are allowed under the law’s exceptions.

“They have to become hospitals or ASCs [ambulatory surgical centers],” Fisher responded. “There’s nothing prohibiting them from doing that.”

While Fisher argued the state constitution’s right-to-life protection blocks the right to an abortion, Ken Falk of the ACLU of Indiana, which is representing the plaintiffs, argues the right to liberty protection guarantees it.

The justices questioned Falk about the balance of the two.

“We have never equated the life of the woman with the potentiality of life that is the fetus,” Falk answered.

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood, one of the plaintiffs on the lawsuit, says it’s seeing more patients coming to Indiana from other states where abortion is banned.

Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, told reporters her team will help Hoosiers find services in other states if the law goes back into effect.

“It is unconscionable that anyone should have to leave their home state to access basic health care,” Gibron said.

There was also some discussion in the courtroom on whether the justices should rule on only the preliminary injunction or the merits of the lawsuit.

The justices didn’t provide a timeline for how soon they could issue a ruling.