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Indiana attorney general ready to enforce, defend possible new abortion laws

Attorney General Todd Rokita has advised Indiana lawmakers not to pass a "trigger law," one that would take effect as soon as Roe v. Wade is overturned.

INDIANAPOLIS — State lawmakers across the country were already preparing to write new abortion laws, or have them on the books already, when the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. The ruling means that there is no constitutional right to an abortion. States would individually determine abortion laws.

"It means the decision for when life begins and when to basically enforce murder, a murder statute, comes back to the lawmakers of the state,” said Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita. “That's a good thing. Because however you feel about this very emotional, sensitive issue, you're going to be able to connect directly with your lawmakers."

Rokita had advised Indiana lawmakers not to pass a "trigger law," one that would take effect as soon as Roe v. Wade is overturned. He advised lawmakers to wait for the Supreme Court's final ruling before passing any new abortion restrictions in Indiana.

RELATED: Report: Draft opinion suggests high court will overturn Roe v. Wade

"This is a predominantly pro-life state,” Rokita said during an interview at his statehouse office Tuesday. “As I know our elected officials, they are predominantly pro-life. Pretty soon, the lawmakers of the state are going to have a chance to make some very solid legislation that reflects the values of the majority of the people of Indiana."

Rokita calls himself a fierce proponent of life and protecting the rights of the unborn. The Attorney General doesn't write new laws, only enforces them. But he has filed legal arguments supporting the Texas Heartbeat Act, which essentially bans all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

RELATED: Yes, states can pass their own abortion laws if Roe v. Wade is overturned

"What we're doing there is paving the ground so that a state like Indiana, if its lawmakers so chose, could have a similar law,” said Rokita. “So that's why we joined with Texas. That's why I and my staff have filed an amicus brief in that case, supporting the Texas law."

One hundred Republican Indiana lawmakers have asked the governor to call a special session of the legislature once Roe v. Wade was overturned. 

In response to the ruling, Rokita released the following statement:

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.

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