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Indiana leaders, lawmakers react to SCOTUS abortion decision

Reactions from Indiana's political leadership to the Supreme Court's landmark decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade abortion law were swift on Friday.

INDIANAPOLIS — Reactions from Indiana's leadership to the Supreme Court's landmark decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade abortion law were swift.

Governor Eric Holcomb (R):

"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."

Senator Mike Braun (R):

"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."

Senator Todd Young (R):

"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."

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett (D):

"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."

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R):

"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."

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R):

"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."

State Senate Pro Tem Roderic Bray (R):

"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."

Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston (R):

“Today's decision rightfully returns the question of abortion back to the people and the states, and we're excited to build on Indiana's already strong pro-life track record. While it's too early to speculate on what form legislation may take, I strongly believe we'll couple any action with expanding resources and services to support pregnant mothers, and care for their babies before and after birth. It's my expectation for state lawmakers to take action to further protect life when we return to the Statehouse for a special session. We recognize the passion from all sides on this issue, and that's why I expect the General Assembly to thoughtfully vet any legislation through the full legislative process, including committee hearings and public testimony."

Indiana Democratic Party Vice-Chair Myla Eldridge:

"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. 

In Indiana, the days are now numbered to get a safe and legal abortion. And what scares me the most is the fact we have a state government who is ready to request that Governor Eric Holcomb call a special session and use taxpayer dollars just to ban this medical procedure in the state. It is unclear how extreme the Indiana Republican Party will go, but politicians like U.S. Senator Todd Young and State Representative John Jacob have signed pledges they wish for the state to enact a total ban on abortions - even in the cases of rape, incest, or saving the life of the mother. Should the Republican Supermajority go as extreme as many of us believe, they will be fulfilling a national partisan agenda that only 17-percent of Hoosiers support in this state. 

So I ask Indiana Republicans today: Do they really want to pass a complete ban on abortion - including for cases of rape, incest, and protecting the life of the mother? 

"This is the first time in our nation's history that we’ve taken such a huge step back on personal freedom, and I am horrified about what other dominos will fall now that women will lose their rights to this legal and safe procedure. A woman’s right to contraception and birth control will be the next issue up for debate, and I fear the Indiana Republican Party will continue their crusade of violating the privacy rights of Hoosiers - because have repeatedly shown us they believe a Hoosier's personal life should be subjected for approval by politicians - not doctors or medical professionals. 

"The Indiana Democratic Party sides with the 83-percent of Hoosiers who believe access to abortions should be legal in some form. We side with the belief that it’s truly only a woman’s right to choose, and the belief that a politician has no business being in a doctor’s office with a woman and her doctor. And, Indiana Democrats will fight tooth and nail every step of the way against this form of dangerous and extreme partisanship. Democrats will show voters and families that the Indiana Republican Party is no longer the so-called 'conservative' party of decades past - but an extreme one who prioritizes an un-American, partisan agenda over creating a better future for families in all 92 counties."

State Senator Shelli Yoder (D-Bloomington):

"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."

U.S. Rep. Jim Baird (R):

"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.

"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."

State Senator Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis): 

"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.

"My caucus and I will continue fighting for women as we enter this dark time. We will be fighting to promote life for women, expand maternal health coverage and support, and invest in key infrastructure in Indiana like child care, education, DCS and public health. All of these efforts will be critical if we’re about to start forcing girls and women to have babies in a state that currently ranks 3rd in the country for maternal mortality. Regardless of what happens in our upcoming special session, my caucus will never give up fighting for essential abortion care for all Hoosier women."

State Senator Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis):

"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."

"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."

State Senator Terri Austin (D-Anderson):

"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 does a very poor job of making birth control available to women. We could drastically reduce unintended pregnancies and the need for abortions if we would allow women to purchase hormonal birth control over the counter as 15 states and counting have done. Access to over-the-counter birth control saves lives, allows women to plan their families and provides for better health outcomes."

Indiana Representative Cherrish Pryor (D-Indianapolis):

"Indiana already has the third highest rate of maternal mortality in the nation. 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."

State Senator J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis):

"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."

Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears (D):

"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."

Secretary of State Candidate Destiny Wells (D):

"Women dying is non-negotiable for me. I'm a woman candidate. I need to make sure women are being represented at the ballot box. We don't have a voting system in place that allows us to be truly represented. If we did, we wouldn't be talking about life-saving care being outlawed. A majority of Hoosiers oppose banning abortion."

 

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