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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Roe v. Wade overturned: Local reactions

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The U.S. Supreme Court ended constitutional protection for abortion June 24 by overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.

The court voted 6-3 to overrule the decision, with conservatives in the majority. The ruling means states are free to ban abortion. Some states already have so-called “trigger laws” that were set to ban abortion when Roe was overturned. Indiana is not one of those states, but lawmakers could soon vote to ban abortion when they come back for a special session starting July 6.

This article will be updated as statements from local politicians and organizations come in.

Gov. Eric Holcomb

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb indicated lawmakers will take action on abortion during an upcoming special session in July, though it isn’t clear how far he wants lawmakers to go with legislation.

“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.”


Women4Change CEO Rima Shahid said the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade sets a “perilous precedent that will undoubtedly see ripple effects in other areas.”

“We are disheartened the Supreme Court voted against women,” Shahid said in a statement. “However, we are not discouraged; we are determined. We are determined to fight the battle ahead of us to protect reproductive rights for all.”

Indiana House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta

“Today’s decision rolls back nearly half a century of reproductive health care protections, and House Democrats are prepared to fight whatever regressive legislation House and Senate Republicans put forth. We still believe that medical decisions — and especially serious and difficult ones like abortion — are best made between a woman and her doctor, not by the government.”

House Democratic Caucus Chair Terri Austin (D-Anderson) and House Floor Leader Cherrish Pryor (D-Indianapolis)

“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. 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.”

Rep. Andre Carson

Rep. Andre Carson tweeted: “Today is a terrible day in America for women and all Americans who value the freedom to make their own medical decisions. The House has passed legislation to protect a woman’s right to choose and I call on the Senate to take up our bill immediately.”

Sen. Mike Braun

Sen. Mike Braun tweeted: “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.”

Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai‘i, Indiana, Kentucky

“It is my promise to every person in Indiana that Planned Parenthood will never back down. We will keep fighting with everything we’ve got to ensure that everyone can access the care you need to control your body and your life. I want to be clear: Planned Parenthood will always be here to help you get the care you need.”

Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears

“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.”

Mayor Joe Hogsett

“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.”

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