INDIANAPOLIS — Hundreds of healthcare providers and other Hoosiers came out Wednesday night to deliver a message to state lawmakers.
Through a megaphone, they shouted, “abortion care is healthcare” as they marched with signs and continued to chant.
Wednesday’s rally came just as state lawmakers announced their return to the Statehouse in the coming weeks for a special session, where the future of abortion rights in Indiana will be determined.
Although Republican lawmakers have not said what new restrictions could be put in place when it comes to getting an abortion in Indiana, Gov. Eric Holcomb has said if the state has the opportunity to make what he called “progress in protecting the sanctity of life” then that’s what the state would do.
“This is not a political issue, this a health care issue,” said Danielle Spray, a labor and delivery nurse. Almost three years ago, Spry had an abortion 20 weeks into her second pregnancy.
“We were so excited for our second child, so excited for a little baby girl named Charlotte,” Spry said.
That changed when an ultrasound revealed the baby would be born without lungs.
“She would have come out of the womb gasping for breath that she would not have been able to take. My husband and I would have watched her suffocate to death,” Srpy explained.
Instead, they terminated the pregnancy.
“Hardest decision I ever had to make, but in some ways, the easiest,” Spry said.
Spry stood among the hundreds gathered at the rally to support people being able to make decisions like the one she and her husband made, without abortion restrictions preventing it.
Not everyone who came out to the rally shared the same viewpoint.
“When it comes right down to it, do you think it’s OK to kill innocent human beings or not?” asked an ICU nurse who said her first name was Elizabeth. She wouldn’t give her last name or say where she worked, because she said she has received death threats in the past for speaking out against abortion.
Elizabeth was one of handful of people with similar views who showed up with their own signs.
“We do care about women. We aren’t just pro-birth. No one is forcing anyone to have babies, but if you get pregnant and you’re carrying a human being already, that human being deserves the right to life as much as you do,” Elizabeth said.
“The woman is a life. The person who’s carrying the pregnancy is a life. When will her life matter?” asked Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an OB/GYN and faculty member at IU’s School of Medicine.
Bernard said she doesn’t believe lawmakers should have a say in answering that question.
“Healthcare providers are sick of politicians getting in the way of their decision making,” she said.
It’s Indiana lawmakers, though, specifically a Republican supermajority, who in just a few weeks will have the power to make the decisions when it comes to the future of abortion in Indiana, and if doctors will be able to perform any under certain circumstances.
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