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Protesters gather outside federal courthouse in Indianapolis as abortion debate sparks

While all eyes are on the Supreme Court, protesters across the country, including in Indianapolis, are making their voices heard.

INDIANAPOLIS — The grounds outside the federal courthouse in downtown Indianapolis were crowded Tuesday with people on both sides of the abortion debate protesting over the future of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. 

Experts both for and against abortion agree that a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion indicates the ruling will likely be overturned this summer. That would put abortion policy back in the hands of state lawmakers.

That’s cause for celebration for some in Indiana, while others brace for a fight to keep abortion legal.

A group of people, made up largely of doctors, are among those fighting to keep abortion legal. They gathered outside the courthouse holding signs that said things like, "My body, my choice" and "We are not ovary acting." 

One of the protesters wore a red dress and white cap, matching what some of the women in the series "The Handmaid's Tale" wear. The woman held a sign calling for reproductive rights to continue. 

Not long after their arrival, the group of abortion-rights advocates was met with counter-protesters who came out to oppose abortion and support the Roe v. Wade ruling being overturned. 

The anti-abortion advocates called abortion "murder" and chanted through a megaphone in hopes of drowning out the other side. 

The protest comes just a day after a Supreme Court draft opinion about Roe v. Wade was leaked. The opinion indicated the ruling would be overturned, putting constitutionally protected abortion rights in jeopardy. While all eyes are on the Supreme Court, protesters across the country, including in Indianapolis, are making their voices heard.

Both sides are anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court's next move, with the future of constitutionally protected abortion rights now up in the air. 

Dr. Maya Bass protested with a group of physicians Tuesday, saying as a doctor offering full-spectrum family care including abortions, she believes this fight is about protecting women's healthcare.

"We know that abortion care is important to patient safety, it's a safe and legal procedure. We know that if there are bans on abortion, people will still get abortions, they just won't have access and they'll increase the worse outcomes," Bass said. 

A few feet away, demonstrators with differing opinions on the issue used megaphones to be heard over the crowd. 

Titus Folks drove up from Bloomington to share his thoughts. He's hoping to see Roe v. Wade overturned for good.

"These people don't represent Indiana," Folks said. "Indiana has mostly conservative people who are pro-life by every polling metric. Most of the conservatives, they are out at the polls voting, and so we know that we have a pro-life state that will be pro-life when Roe v. Wade is decided and we can actually ban abortion in Indiana." 

Bass said abortion is a personal decision, one that should be left to the patient and their doctor.

"No one else should have any say in it. Politicians do not have any medical expertise, they should get out of my patient's rooms and let my patients and me, their healthcare provider, make this decision," Bass said.

"So, abortion is murder, it kills a human being," said Folks. "We have a Roe v. Wade decision where we're going to be able to save lives in Indiana and states will be able to decide for themselves how they will treat that law. This is an exciting opportunity to save lives."


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