I-Team 8

ACLU, business leaders tell Indiana lawmakers: Take different path on abortion

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — When lawmakers gather Monday for the Legislature’s special session, Indiana will be one of the first Republican-run states to take on the abortion debate.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision June 24 on Roe v. Wade ended nearly five decades of constitutional protections for abortion.

Indiana’s proposed legislation would provide allowances for abortions in cases of rape and incest, and to protect the life of the mother. Those allowances have sparked debate. 

According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, more than 250 business owners and leaders have signed a letter asking lawmakers to take a different path on abortion.  

Kristin Kohn, the owner of the Silver in the City gift shops in Indianapolis and Carmel, said during an ACLU news conference on Thursday, “I appeal to you to make decisions and pass laws based on what’s in the best interests of Hoosier women, allowing them to control their own health care. You will earn their respect, their support, and their appreciation for protecting their choice.” 

I-Team 8 on Thursday asked Curtis Hill, a former Indiana attorney general, if the Senate’s proposed abortion legislation, Senate Bill 1 (Special Session), goes far enough.

“Well, I think that this is absolutely an opportunity for the General Assembly to draw a line in the sand on the definition of ‘life,’” Hill said.

Hill did not go into specifics about the exceptions in the proposed legislation. He was certain that whatever lawmakers pass will be challenged in court, a statement that was echoed by ACLU representatives on Thursday.

Katie Blair, the director of advocacy and public policy at the ACLU of Indiana, said at the news conference, “The ACLU is going to assess this bill at every step of the way. We still have rights. We still have constitutional rights. Roe (v. Wade) may have been overturned, but women still have rights here in Indiana.”

Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray, a Republican from Martinsville, says lawmakers have heard from both sides of the abortion issue and, at the end of the day, lawmakers have a job to do and constituents to answer to. “I acknowledge, that in doing so, it opens arguably the most difficult, polarizing issue that we’ve faced in a generation. I understand the passion that exists on both sides.”

Indiana state Sen. Sue Glick, a Republican from LaGrange, is one of the authors of the proposed legislation. She said Wednesday the measure as proposed would not impact the “morning after” pill or access to contraception.

‘Don’t Ban Equity’ letter from ACLU, business leaders

“It’s time for companies to stand up for reproductive health care.

“Equality in the workplace is one of the most important business issues of our time. When everyone is empowered to succeed, our companies, our communities and our economy are better for it.

Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence and economic stability of our employees and customers. Simply put, it goes against our values, and is bad for business. It impairs our ability to build diverse and inclusive workforce pipelines, recruit top talent across the states, and protect the well-being of all the people who keep our businesses thriving day in and out.

“Bans on equality put our families, communities, businesses and the economy at risk. We, the undersigned, employ Hoosiers across the state of Indiana and stand against policies that hinder people’s health, independence and ability to fully succeed in the workplace.

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