INDIANAPOLIS — Organizations on both sides of the abortion issue agree that a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion indicates the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade 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.
13News collected reactions from activists on both sides.
Curt Smith, Indiana Family Institute Chairman:
To send the issue of abortion back to the states would be a major step forward. That means each state, all 50 state legislatures, will set abortion policy. Indiana's a pro-life state, so we would anticipate that it would be largely illegal here if not completely illegal. But, of course, other states might make a different path. But it was shocking news, but heartening news.
In Indiana it means two things: we will quickly, if not immediately, move to update our laws to take full advantage of the opportunity to be a pro-life state. And then I think it means pro-lifers - we've got to redouble our work to support women and babies and let the world know that we really are pro-life. It's not just a political issue or something we like to scream about.
Indiana's a very pro-life state. I would like to see us say abortion's illegal in all instances. I would imagine this legislature would allow the exceptions of rape and incest, though I'm not certain about that.
Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter:
If the Politico report is true, and it bears out in the final ruling, this will be a monumentally historical moment that demonstrates how far we’ve evolved since 1973 in medical science, compassion for unborn babies, and support for pregnant mothers. And rather than judges handing down decisions about unborn life, Hoosiers will have the chance to come together to demonstrate our value for life and commitment that every person deserves to be born. In the interim, we eagerly await the Court’s own voice on the matter.
Planned Parenthood operates three clinics in Indianapolis and is a major abortion provider in the state. The organization did not respond to our request for local reaction, but released a national statement.
Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
Let's be clear: Abortion is legal. It is still your right. This leaked opinion is horrifying and unprecedented, and it confirms our worst fears: that the Supreme Court is prepared to end the constitutional right to abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade. While we have seen the writing on the wall for decades, it is no less devastating, and comes just as anti-abortion rights groups unveil their ultimate plan to ban abortion nationwide. Understand that Planned Parenthood and our partners have been preparing for every possible outcome in this case and are built for the fight. Planned Parenthood health centers remain open, abortion is currently still legal, and we will continue to fight like hell to protect the right to access safe, legal abortion.
Mini Timmaraju, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, released the following statement:
This is the most ominous and alarming sign yet that our nation’s highest court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending the constitutional right to abortion as we know it and ripping away our freedom to decide if, when, and how to raise our families. While this is a draft opinion and abortion is still legal, we need to brace for a future where more and more people are punished and criminalized for seeking and providing abortion care. Now more than ever, we must support those working to provide abortion care and elect champions who will relentlessly fight for reproductive freedom and take bold action to safeguard abortion rights.