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Abortion rights activists rally hours before new Indiana law takes effect

(Photo aired on WISH-TV)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — Indiana’s abortion ban begins Tuesday, and for two days, abortion rights advocates across Indiana have been speaking out.

On Monday, there was a large rally in Bloomington, filled with many frustrations but also a sense of hope.

“The choice to do with someone’s body is their own choice and not someone else’s and I don’t believe life begins at conception,” the co-chair of Hoosier Jews for Choice, Amalia Shifriss, said.

Dozens of people gathered on the Monroe County courthouse lawn to let state leaders know they’re not done fighting for abortion rights.

“We thought it was important because it affects people all over to have people all over-involved,” Shifriss said.

Organizers say it was a chance for community members to connect before tomorrow when the new abortion law takes effect.

“The fact that one of the injunctions has been vacated and (Senate Bill) 1 is going into effect tomorrow, so we are sad and we are grieving, but we’re also energizing and calling people to action,” Shirfriss said.

In late June, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled to lift an order blocking the state’s near-total abortion ban.

A separate injunction blocking the ban on religious liberty grounds remains in effect.

Stevie Pactor, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Indiana, says there are still a lot of questions surrounding the new law.

“What constitutes a religious belief? How are providers supposed to know whether a person has a religious belief? And our view is that’s a pretty simple process you ask them to fill out an affidavit just like you do with any other religious exemption context,” Pactor said.

Overall, people at the rally say they’ll keep fighting no matter what.

Right to Life of Indianapolis President Marc Tuttle has released a statement about the Indiana Supreme Court’s decision related to the state constitutionality of Senate Enrolled Act 1 passed in 2022.

“This is big victory in the fight to protect the life of unborn babies, and to protect pregnant mothers from the often lifelong trauma of abortion. This case is also a victory in that Indiana was the first state to pass prolife legislation since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, making it clear there was never a right to abortion established in the U.S. Constitution. Now the work ahead is to ensure that we, as loving and compassionate Hoosiers, provide the support that pregnant mothers and their babies need to thrive and succeed.”

Right to Life of Indianapolis President Marc Tuttle