INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling that blocked an Indiana mandate forcing women to undergo an ultrasound at least 18 hours before having an abortion.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a preliminary injunction U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt in Indianapolis had issued in April 2017, blocking the ultrasound waiting period that then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed in March 2016.

Appeals Court Judge Ilana Rovner wrote in Thursday's ruling that the law "constitutes an undue burden on those seeking an abortion" by requiring some women to face additional long-distance travel and additional expenses.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana's executive director, Jane Henegar, says the ruling "affirms that deeply personal decisions about abortion should be made by women in consultation with their doctors."

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