Indiana legislative leaders aren’t saying just how far they’ll go in banning abortions if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns its longstanding abortion rights precedents this year.
A potential opinion from the Court that leaked Monday night would allow states to enact full bans.
What little public polling there is on abortion in Indiana shows that a large majority of Hoosiers oppose an abortion ban that doesn’t allow exceptions – like in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the pregnant person is at risk.
It’s not clear how far Indiana Republican leaders will go if the Supreme Court fully overturns Roe v. Wade. In a statement, Sen. Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) described the leaked opinion as “good news” but said lawmakers will monitor further for a final decision. House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said the “vast majority” of Republican lawmakers want to take further action to ban abortion, based on the Court’s final decision.
One hundred Republicans (out of 110 in the General Assembly) signed a letter in March asking the governor to call a special session to “align” Indiana laws with the Supreme Court’s eventual ruling.
The Indiana Democratic Party said Statehouse Republicans’ push to ban abortions “will cost lives.”
House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta said he was "troubled" by the leaked opinion and pledged to "remain vigilant" as lawmakers await the Court's ultimate decision.
"We cannot go backwards, especially as a state with some of the most abysmal maternal and infant health outcomes," GiaQuinta said.
In her own statement, Sen. Shelli Yoder (D-Bloomington) reminded Hoosiers the leaked opinion is not an official ruling.
"Our caucus will urge Governor Holcomb not to call a special session to turn back the clock on women’s rights," Yoder said in a statement. "If he does so anyway, we will fight for Hoosiers’ right to health privacy and choice every step of the way."
In a statement, Indiana Right to Life President Mike Fichter said, if the leaked opinion becomes reality, it would be a "monumentally historical moment."
"Hoosiers will have the chance to come together to demonstrate our value for life and commitment that every person deserves to be born," Fichter said.
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Planned Parenthood Great Northwest Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky CEO Rebecca Gibron obviously struck a different tone, describing the potential opinion as "our deepest fears ... coming true."
"Abortion access is at a crisis point," Gibron said. "The consequences of the impending Supreme Court decision this summer could be swift and devastating for communities nationwide."
Both Gibron and Whole Woman's Health President and CEO Amy Hagstom Miller emphasized that, for now, abortion is still legal. Miller's organization runs a clinic in South Bend that provides abortion care. She said Whole Woman's Health has already been preparing for a Supreme Court decision that allows abortion bans.
"This includes ... piloting a program that is helping people migrate out of the state if they are facing inhumane abortion bans," Miller said. "Like many abortion providers, we are doing everything we can to try to meet the needs of pregnant people in the U.S. and no matter what the future holds, we will see as many people as we can for as long as we can."
This story has been updated.