I-Team 8

IU prof: Alito intends draft opinion as ‘opening salvo in a cultural war’

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — If the leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling or some version of it stands, it would not make abortion illegal in Indiana. 

While 22 states have some version of a law outlawing most or all abortions. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, Indiana is not one of those.

“Basically, what this opinion does is it turns the abortion decision back to states. It does not walk the middle road,” said Jody Madeira, a professor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

She says Roe v. Wade came back to Supreme Court after a challenge to the law in the state of Mississippi that banned abortion after 15 weeks. Madeira says it is impossible to predict if the leaked decision written Justice Samuel Alito will be the final version.

“Alito can be very hard on opinion he does not like and, in this opinion, he calls Roe basically a legal fraud. He intends this as an opening salvo in a cultural war,” Madeira said. 

One of the biggest anti-abortion voices in Indiana has been Curt Smith, board chairman of the Indiana Family Institute.

“So, it is a remarkable reversal of a 49-year mistake,” Smith said.

The leaked draft, if it becomes the final version, would send the abortion debate back to individual states. Smith says Indiana has been at odds with Roe v. Wade since the initial Supreme Court ruling. 

“Our Legislature and our citizens have been at odds with Roe v. Wade since it was issued in 1973. So, freedom in Indiana has grown today,” Smith said.  

I-Team 8 received this statement from Planned Parenthood Great Northwest Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky:

“Abortion is still safe and legal in Indiana, but last night’s leaked opinion makes it clear that our deepest fears are coming true: abortion access is at a crisis point. The consequences of the impending Supreme Court decision this summer could be swift and devastating for communities nationwide. What comes next is dangerous and will open the floodgates for states across the country to ban abortion– a promise the Republican-dominated Indiana State Legislature has made already.”

Rebecca Gibron, CEO for Planned Parenthood Great Northwest Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky (PPGNHAIK)

Emily Wells is the interim chief executive officer the Great Plains Planned Parenthood office in Oklahoma. She says her office has been planning for the day that the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.  

“There is something empowering … being able to say out loud that, ‘This is what’s happening: The Supreme Court is going to overturn Roe.’ It seems very clear in the draft decision … and so now we mobilize and push back and fight for our patients,” Wells said.

Several abortion rights groups have been using social media Tuesday to spread the message that abortions are still legal in Indiana, and women who are seeking an abortion should not cancel any appointments.