Staff Report

June 30, 2023

Left-leaning lawmakers and organizations were swift with their condemnation of the Indiana Supreme Court’s decision June 30 to vacate a preliminary injunction that had stopped the state’s 2022 abortion ban from going into effect:

Planned Parenthood Federation of America; Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky; ACLU of Indiana; All-Options; the Lawyering Project; Women’s Med (joint statement)

“We are devastated by the Indiana Supreme Court’s ruling today which will deprive more than 1.5 million people in Indiana— particularly Black, Latino, and Indigenous people, people with low incomes, and LGBTQ+ people, who already face the most challenges when seeking medical care— of life-saving, essential health care. Now, patients will be forced either to flee the state to access abortion if they have the means, seek abortion outside of the health care system, or carry pregnancies against their will with profound medical risk and life-altering consequences. Despite this setback, we’ll keep fighting to restore reproductive rights in Indiana and to help Hooisers get access to the services they need. Today’s decision is not the end of our fight for equitable, compassionate care in Indiana, or the patients in surrounding states who rely on Indiana for access to abortion.”

Rep. Sue Errington, D-Muncie

“Today I am disheartened, today I am upset, today I am disappointed. With the Indiana Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Indiana GOP’s near-total abortion ban, the state endangers the lives and safety of Hoosier women. This ban will not stop abortions, only safe and legal ones. For decades, I have fought for the rights of women. I was part of the generation that fought to legalize abortion with Roe, and I will fight to make it legal again. For the mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts and so many more that this will affect, I am here, and I stand with you.”

Rep. Kyle Miller, D-Fort Wayne

“While I wasn’t in the legislature last summer when the Indiana Republican near-total abortion ban was rushed through by the majority party, I know that this decision from the Indiana Supreme Court will have huge negative impacts for Hoosier women, girls and families. I’m disappointed in the court’s ruling, which threatens the futures of Indiana women and girls. The freedom to own your own body is fundamental to carving out your own future, and the House Democratic Caucus remains committed to fighting for that right for women. I eagerly await word on how the other, religious-based challenge in the court pans out.”

Rep. Vanessa Summers, D-Indianapolis

“I’m incredibly disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision, which will ultimately cost Hoosier women their lives. Unfortunately, I’m not surprised. This is Indiana.

“Science and facts tell us that abortion bans don’t prevent abortions, they prevent safe abortions. Women will always seek to have control over their own bodies, regardless of any bans set in place by a government body. With this ban one step closer from taking effect, we need to be prepared to see an influx of women facing unnecessary medical complications and death from either attempting to end their pregnancies on their own, being forced to wait until they are ‘sick enough’ to warrant a life-saving abortion, or simply not being able to access abortion services.”

Rep. Cherrish Pryor, D-Indianapolis

“Today, my heart is with the women who bravely shared their stories last summer, highlighting the crucial need for abortion access in our state, as well as every woman and girl in Indiana who have now been told that they have no authority over their own bodies. Abortion is health care, plain and simple, and this decision will cost women—disproportionally Black women, women from low-income households and women facing domestic violence—their long-term health, and in some tragic cases, their lives.

“As we take time to mourn this loss of human rights in Indiana, the House Democratic Caucus will continue to fight for women and girls in Indiana to maintain autonomy over their bodies and health care.”

Rep. Carolyn Jackson, D-Hammond, vice chair of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus, on behalf of the IBLC

“This is a dark day for Indiana. Last summer, we heard from countless women and health care providers about how access to safe and legal abortions saves lives, the health of women and allows countless women to remain active members of society and the workforce. With the ban now in effect, I’m terrified to think about the effect this will have on women, girls and public health outcomes in Indiana.

“We cannot forget that this near-total abortion ban will disproportionally impact African American women and women of color. Indiana already has the third highest rate of maternal mortality in the nation, and the rates for Black women are much higher than the average rate for Hoosier women overall. We simply cannot afford to do anything that will put pregnant Hoosier women at greater risk for health complications, and yet, here we are. We in the House Democratic Caucus and the IBLC will continue to do everything in our power to reinstate bodily autonomy for Hoosier women and girls.”

Rep. Earl Harris Jr., D-East Chicago, chair of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus

“The right to control one’s own body is the right to control one’s own destiny. This decision from the state Supreme Court is disheartening, but I and my colleagues remain committed to helping every Hoosier—regardless of gender, race or income—access the health care that is best for themselves and their families, and to ensure that women are not second-class citizens in Indiana.”

Rep. Victoria Garcia Wilburn, D-Fishers

“As a woman who has three children, I understand the complexities of pregnancy. Many women, including myself, are familiar with the complications surrounding miscarriages and access to swift medical attention to ensure our health. The abortion ban passed into law by the Indiana General Assembly in no way reflects the totality of Hoosiers’ views on abortion. Without a balanced legislature, Hoosiers are subjected to one party’s fringe elements and Indiana pays the price.”

House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta, D-Fort Wayne

“This is a tremendously sad day for Hoosiers, but House Democrats will continue to fight for the fundamental right of women and girls to control their own destinies. Throughout the course of the 2022 special session, we heard countless women testify that access to abortion allowed them to do the right thing for themselves and their families. Abortion is a serious and emotional matter, and I believe firmly that it is an issue best left to a woman and her doctor, not politicians. The Indiana Republican abortion ban won’t stop abortions, it will simply ban access to safe abortions. Hoosiers don’t want this future for Hoosier women and girls.

“While today’s decision is disheartening, the fight to secure access to safe and legal reproductive healthcare has just begun. With the Republican’s near-total abortion ban now in effect, we will soon see the full scope of the devastation it will bring to Hoosier women and families. The House Democratic Caucus will continue to fight to reinstate a woman’s right to own her own body.”

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett

“This ruling is a bad decision that upholds terrible policy, and Indiana women will be less safe as a result. Full access to reproductive healthcare should be a fundamental right and Hoosier women deserve the autonomy to make these personal decisions with their doctors. Just as I fought against these changes in state law, I will continue to fight at the Statehouse for the restoration of full reproductive healthcare in Indianapolis.”

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman Mike Schmuhl

“Today is the latest in a line of sad days for the rights of Hoosier women. Over three million women in our state have lost the fundamental right to make decisions about their own bodies and health. Polls have consistently shown that a majority of Hoosiers believe women should have the right to choose.

“The unbalanced supermajority of Republicans in the Statehouse are responsible for the consequences that this law will cause. Multitudes of Hoosier women every year will be forced to travel hundreds of extra miles to other states to receive healthcare. The few exceptions provided are likely only exceptions on paper, as bans in other states have shown. Many women will be forced to carry unsafe pregnancies to term because they don’t have the resources to travel, or will be denied care (despite meeting an exception) because of the risk to hospitals facing legal action.

“This decision will not stop the resolve of Hoosier Democrats to restore full reproductive rights for all women in Indiana. In the coming months and years, Democratic legislators will continue proposals to reverse this ban, work to expand access to contraceptives, and fight against Republican attempts to criminalize doctors and women. We stand united with the majority of Hoosiers who want all women in our state to have equal rights—and the right to choose.”

Rep. Carey Hamilton, D-Indianapolis

“My heart breaks today as the Supreme Court in my beloved state of Indiana has ruled that the GOP’s near-total abortion ban can now go into effect. Indiana joins those states that have chosen to take fundamental healthcare rights away from women following the Dobbs decision last year. As a woman in leadership within the Indiana House Democratic Caucus, I make this promise to all women and girls: this is not the end. My fellow Democrats and I will fight to reinstate the basic right of a woman to make private choices regarding their health.”

Rep. Blake Johnson, D-Indianapolis

“Today, the Indiana Supreme Court had the opportunity to serve as an important check against an extreme, supermajority agenda that threatens the rights and lives of Hoosier women. They have abdicated that responsibility. My colleagues and I will continue fighting against these laws that suggest one group is guaranteed rights while others are not.”

Rep. Robin Shackleford, D-Indianapolis

“Today, the Indiana Supreme Court decided to affirm a near-total abortion ban that will affect all Hoosiers, especially women of color. Historically, Black women have been mistreated, abused, and ignored in the reproductive healthcare system.

“The Indiana near-total abortion ban strips women of their bodily autonomy and will worsen these ongoing issues. One of my biggest struggles with this decision is very simple: the government should not be making health decisions for women. The choice to have an abortion is an extremely personal one that should be left up to a woman and her doctor. It’s a well-known fact that restricting abortions is not an effective way of stopping abortions, it just stops safe abortions. Restricting access to health care poses a direct threat to Hoosier women. To the women of Indiana, I will continue to be your voice and fight for you.”

Rep. Maureen Bauer, D-South Bend

“The ruling from Indiana’s Supreme Court today allows the GOP near-total abortion ban to now go into effect, undoing decades of progress for the rights of women. As we heard through the hours of testimony last summer, abortion is necessary, medical health care. This policy strips women and girls of their fundamental right to bodily autonomy.

“To all the women and girls who are left feeling afraid and helpless after today’s ruling: My fellow House Democrats and I will continue to work to restore your right as an Indiana resident to have power over your own health and future.”

Rep. John Bartlett, D-Indianapolis

“What an unbelievably sad day for Indiana. This is simply a form of bigotry against women. Last summer during the special session, I offered an amendment restricting certain health care treatments for men in the hopes my Republican colleagues would see how egregious it is to legislate health care. They quickly voted it down, yet proceeded to tell Hoosier women and girls what they can and cannot do with their bodies. Even with the narrow exceptions for survivors of rape and incest, health care professionals told us repeatedly that 10 weeks is not enough time, especially for child survivors in need of health care. This policy is not pro-life, it is anti-woman, and it puts our already most vulnerable populations at increased risk of harm. This is shameful.”

Rep. Chris Campbell, D-West Lafayette

“The Indiana Supreme Court’s decision this morning has reversed over 50 years of freedom, liberty, and bodily autonomy for Hoosier women. This strips them of their personal dignity to make their own, private medical decisions. Having a child is potentially the most serious choice individuals and families can make during their lives. No matter what, I remain committed to fighting for freedom of choice.”

Rep. Sheila Klinker, D-Lafayette

“Last summer, we in the General Assembly heard testimony from women and health care providers about the need to maintain abortion access. While I’m happy to see exceptions—while narrow—still exist for the life of the mother and survivors of rape and incest, I’m hopeful that in the future we will allow this difficult decision to be left up to a woman, her faith advisers, her doctor and her family.”

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