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Indiana lawmakers react to end of Roe v. Wade

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana lawmakers are reacting to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The court handed down its ruling Friday morning. The decision ends nearly five decades of constitutional protections for abortion. A ban on abortions is expected to follow in roughly half of the states.

Below are statements from Indiana lawmakers at the local, state, and national levels.

U.S. Congress

Sen. Mike Braun:

“After 50 years, the right to life has finally been returned to the people and their elected representatives. I’m excited to see the states take the lead to protect the unborn, and I look forward to crafting solutions that will defend the unborn and save lives.”

Sen. Todd Young:

“Today is a monumental day for the protection of life in America and a defining moment for our nation. Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, and the Supreme Court has corrected a historic injustice.

“The American people will now have the opportunity, through their state elected officials, to decide our laws when it comes to protecting life and protecting women. It’s now time to work on solutions that affirm the right to life and support pregnant women and mothers.”

Rep. Jim Banks:

Today is a joyful day and a turning point for the unborn in America. I will be celebrating tonight with my wife Amanda and our three daughters. I’d like to thank the thousands of pro-life advocates, conservative representatives, and voters, who have worked tirelessly for nearly 50 years to overturn the disastrous Roe decision.
I am reiterating my call for Governor Holcomb and the Indiana legislatures to convene a special session and pass pro-life legislation. I will be working hard in Congress to build on today’s victory

Lastly, I’m astonished by the bravery of the Supreme Court Justices, who upheld their oath to the Constitution and issued an impartial, thorough and correct decision, even in the face of a murder attempt and a coordinated left-wing intimidation campaign condoned by the Biden Department of Justice. I’m praying for their safety.”

Rep. Jim Baird:

“I have long believed that the Supreme Court’s decision to claim authority over the rights of the unborn was one of the darkest moments in its history; today’s decision represents not only a great victory in the fight to preserve life at every stage and for states’ rights, but the opportunity to right a wrong,” said Congressman Baird. “The right to life is the cornerstone of American principles and now states will have the ability to protect life at every stage, restoring some balance to our federalist system. After nearly 50 years, we have finally corrected this stain on our nation’s history, and I’m proud to join the millions of Americans across the country in celebrating this monumental and well overdue decision.”

Rep. Andre Carson, via Twitter:

“Today is a terrible day in America for women and all Americans who value the freedom to make their own medical decisions. The House has passed legislation to protect a woman’s right to choose and I call on the Senate to take up our bill immediately.”

Rep. Jackie Walorski:

“Our prayers have been answered. By rightfully restoring power to the states, the Supreme Court has affirmed the inalienable right to life. As our mission moves to the states, we will not grow weary in doing good. Our commitment to life will march on. As one of the most pro-life states in the nation, Indiana will lead the way in defending the vulnerable, uplifting women and families, and ensuring every child has the chance to achieve the American Dream. Our enduring commitment to life will prevail.”

Rep. Sharon Negele:

“It’s too early to speculate on what form any legislation may take. However, I believe it’s time to address the reasons for an unwanted pregnancy and determine how best to develop a comprehensive approach through education, prevention and expanded resources with designated funding to help mothers and their newborn babies. I look forward to working on this issue when we return to the Statehouse for a special session.”

State lawmakers

Gov. Eric Holcomb

“The Supreme Court’s decision is clear, and it is now up to the states to address this important issue. We’ll do that in short order in Indiana. I’ve already called the General Assembly back on July 6, and I expect members to take up this matter as well.

I have been clear in stating I am pro-life. We have an opportunity to make progress in protecting the sanctity of life, and that’s exactly what we will do.”

Attorney General Todd Rokita

This is a historic moment. 

With its action today, the U.S. Supreme Court at long last has acknowledged the gross injustice perpetrated by the court in 1973 through the tragic Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion throughout the nation. 

More than 63 million little ones have died at the hands of abortionists in the intervening 49 years since that act of judicial malpractice. Even as we mourn those lost lives, however, today we also rejoice that six justices on the current Supreme Court have acted wisely and courageously to correct one of the worst travesties in our nation’s history. 

My office was honored to assist the attorneys for the State of Mississippi in their preparations to argue the Dobbs case before the U.S. Supreme Court.   

As Indiana’s attorney general, I have devoted much of my time and energy to defending Indiana’s own pro-life laws. 

With today’s Supreme Court ruling, pro-life states such as Indiana should find it easier to legislate and enforce strong laws that protect lives. Even as we expect relief from the burden of spending as much time in court defending our abortion laws, however, we will remain watchful and ready for attempts in Washington D.C. to codify into federal law the same nationwide legalization of abortion that the court foisted on Americans in 1973. 

The Supreme Court has delivered a historic win for life, but our fight for unborn children continues in earnest. We will continue working vigorously to protect those little ones and the physical, mental and emotional well-being of their mothers. 

Women of the Indiana Democratic Caucus – Rep. Terri Austin, and Rep. Cherrish Pryor, House Floor Leader:

“Having control over your body, whether it’s your reproductive health, or the best decisions for your life and your family, are fundamental human rights,” the women said. “They are personal decisions that need to be made by a woman and her physician, not a room of 150 legislators in Indianapolis. Women who can control decisions about their bodies and their reproductive health have the ability to influence the outcome of their future and their family’s future.”

“Indiana already has the third-highest rate of maternal mortality in the nation,” Pryor added.  “Hoosier women cannot afford any legislation that puts them at a greater risk of dying due to pregnancy. Instead of working to restrict abortions in the state, the legislature ought to be striving to support existing pregnant women and infants. For example, we’d like to see a workplace pregnancy accommodations law with teeth actually pass – the one that Statehouse Republicans passed does nothing to substantively protect women and their babies.”

Indiana House Democratic Leader, State Rep. Phil GiaQuinta:

“Put plainly, access to abortion has allowed women and families to plan their futures on their terms. It’s given women freedom, economic mobility and safety. Now, all of that is under threat.

“Today’s decision rolls back nearly half a century of reproductive health care protections, and House Democrats are prepared to fight whatever regressive legislation House and Senate Republicans put forth. We still believe that medical decisions – and especially serious and difficult ones like abortion – are best made between a woman and her doctor, not by the government.”

Indiana Senate Minority Leader Greg Taylor:

“This ruling will plunge us back into a society where the most personal aspect of a woman’s life will be at the mercy of her state legislature. Indiana will enter a bygone era where a woman is forced to carry unexpected and unsafe pregnancies to term—with no regard for her personal choice, her physician’s advice or her circumstances or potential risks. And let’s be clear, women will die. We already have the 3rd highest maternal mortality rate in the nation—restricting abortion care will have deadly and devastating outcomes for women and families. Maternal mortality rates across the country and in our state are about to see a drastic rise. These fatalities will occur when women at a higher risk for pregnancy-related death, such as polycystic ovary syndrome and blood clotting disorders, are forced to carry out pregnancies against their will or doctor’s orders.

“Roe v. Wade protected a fundamental right to privacy that ensured women could access all forms of healthcare to support the best health outcomes. Supporting maternal health means guaranteeing access to vital healthcare, respecting health care providers’ guidance and leaving women the freedom to make personal and nuanced reproductive decisions without government interference.

“The outcome of banning abortion care will have a drastic impact on our entire state. Due to decades of underinvestment in key social infrastructure, Indiana does not have the ability to support a forced-birth society. We already have a critical healthcare provider and OB/GYN shortage. DCS is underfunded, and we have the second highest rate of child abuse and the highest rate of child deaths from abuse in the nation. Adoption subsidies are fully not guaranteed in state statute, so we already don’t support all families wanting to care for children. 81% of our schools lack access to reproductive health services that are crucial to preventing unwanted teen pregnancies. Families cannot afford skyrocketing housing costs and we’re still not doing enough to adequately fund public education, Medicaid coverage or postpartum support services like doulas for new mothers. We are not prepared.

Sen. Shelli Yoder:

“The ruling handed down by the Supreme Court today is not a ‘pro-life’ victory as it will be touted by anti-choice activists. In fact, as a result of this ruling, countless women will lose their lives to poverty, to back alley abortionists, to risky pregnancies and to unforgiving, fundamentally invasive public policy. Make no mistake, this decision is not about preserving lives—it is about controlling them.”

“This decision is part of a larger, hyper-conservative movement to erode privacy rights and to retroactively erase decades of civil rights progress. This ruling forces women of all faiths, races and beliefs across America to legally submit to a narrow, remarkably backwards judgment of their bodily autonomy and societal value. It undermines all American aspirations of equality, justice and freedom. If we truly believed in justice, in freedom, we would let women make their own decisions without fear of state retribution. I can only hope Indiana’s Legislature lets current law stand and realizes that a vote against abortion access is a vote against women’s rights, healthcare privacy, families and the will and lives of Hoosiers. A woman will always be better-equipped than her government to make this decision: to assume anything else is a grave insult to the intellect and independence of all women, pro-choice and ‘pro-life’ alike.” 

Sen. J.D. Ford:

“I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has decided to go against nearly 50 years of precedent by overturning Roe v. Wade. The right to privacy is one of the most important in a free society, and today the Supreme Court has made it open season for state governments to limit women’s rights to privacy.”

“I trust women to make this deeply personal decision. Government doesn’t have any business being in exam rooms for folks’ healthcare decisions. Instead of banning abortion, we should focus our efforts on improving access to affordable healthcare, lowering our infant and maternal mortality rates and expanding access to childcare. Those are the kinds of pro-life and pro-family policies that will benefit Hoosiers.”

Sen. Liz Brown:

“When I stood outside of the Supreme Court on Dec. 1 during the oral arguments for Dobbs, there was hope in the air. Hope that after fifty years of abortion on-demand, without limits, we could finally turn a new page. Today begins a new chapter in our nation’s history.

“By overturning Roe, the justices are returning abortion policymaking to the states. Hoosier elected officials are better positioned to set abortion policy than unelected judges, as we are answerable to voters and they are not.

“As someone who strongly believes in the sanctity of life, I regret unborn babies will continue losing their lives in states with liberal abortion laws. In Indiana, we affirm the dignity of mother and child. We must seize this opportunity to empower women and protect unborn human life. This spring, 100 Hoosier legislators wrote Gov. Holcomb calling for a special session should the Supreme Court send abortion policymaking back to the states. With this ruling, we must act immediately in the upcoming special session.

“It is our duty to empower women, affirm life and protect the smallest among us.”

Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray:

 “Indiana has a strong record as a pro-life state, and I am pleased the Supreme Court ruled to return power to the states with regard to this important issue. With the final decision in hand, we can begin to formulate a policy that is right for Indiana that protects unborn children and cares for the health and lives of mothers and their babies.  I expect we will be able to work on that in the upcoming special session.

“We certainly realize this is an extremely contentious and potentially polarizing issue.  We will proceed with this conversation in a civil and substantive way so that all sides have the opportunity to be heard as we chart a course for Hoosiers.”

Sen. Jean Breaux:

“Today’s ruling is a devastating blow to women’s rights in this country. Roe v. Wade has served as a precedent for nearly 50 years, establishing a legal and cultural standard that women have the right to choose. By reversing this precedent, the Supreme Court has given states like Indiana leeway to consider extreme legislation to curtail women’s rights. Let’s be clear, this will not end abortions—it will lead to unsafe abortions.”

Breaux continued, “Indiana is not prepared to support Hoosier families if the General Assembly passes legislation to allow the government to force women to give birth. We would be better served by offering a Family Plan for all Hoosiers. This means addressing maternal mortality by requiring private insurance to cover doula services, providing paid parental leave for new parents, improving access to birth control, expanding financial support for families and more comprehensive pregnancy accommodations in the workplace.”

“This is a dark day in our nation’s history, but Indiana doesn’t have to go the way of government forcing women to give birth. As a state, we are at a crossroads. We can go the route of having the government forcing women to carry all pregnancies to term or we can choose a better path and protect a woman’s right to choose, improve maternal health and support Hoosier women and their families.”

Local leaders

Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is not only profoundly disappointing but the consequences of this decision are a threat to public safety.

This decision will further erode the trust between the community and law enforcement, hindering investigations and the public’s willingness to come forward or seek treatment.

Further, we do not need to criminalize women and our medical professionals who would not otherwise be involved in the criminal justice system.

The Prosecutor’s Office will continue to use its limited resources on addressing violent crime and those that threaten the safety of the public at large.

Former vice president Mike Pence

Today, Life Won. By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court of the United States has given the American people a new beginning for life and I commend the Justices in the majority for having the courage of their convictions.

By returning the question of abortion to the states and the people, this Supreme Court has righted a historic wrong, and reaffirmed to right of the American people to govern themselves at the state level in a manner consistent with their values and aspirations.

Now that Roe v. Wade has been consigned to the ash heap of history, a new arena in the cause of life has emerged and it is incumbent on all who cherish the sanctity of life to resolve that we will take the defense of the unborn…

…and support for women in crisis pregnancies to every state Capitol in America. Having been given this second chance for Life, we must not rest and must not relent until the sanctity of life is restored to the center of American law in every state in the land.

Myla Eldridge, Marion County Clerk and vice-chair of the Indiana Democratic Party

“My heart breaks today, because with the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion, a 50-year understanding and American-standard has been stripped away from women of all stripes, colors, and backgrounds. Generations of women for the first time will be forced to make dangerous decisions many of us thought we left in history books. And what horrifies me most, underprivileged women – especially Black and Brown Hoosiers in urban communities – will see their futures dashed or their lives be put at risk because the nation’s highest court backed a small minority over the large majority of Americans who want to keep living up to the foundations and freedoms of the United States.” 

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett

Today’s decision by the Supreme Court is deeply disappointing and erases decades of hard-fought progress in defending every woman’s right to make health care decisions with her doctor. This tragic stumble in our nation’s journey toward justice will have real life consequences, endangering the lives and wellbeing of women and further eroding public trust. On this historic day, I stand with women across Marion County as they speak out against this decision and look forward to working with health care providers, community groups, and stakeholders, as they fight on behalf of Hoosier women.