INDIANAPOLIS — The Supreme Court has struck down Roe v. Wade, eliminating the nearly 50-year-old constitutional right to abortion and handing states authority to drastically limit or ban the procedure.
The decision by a majority of conservative justices to fundamentally reshape American society by overturning the landmark 1973 precedent is certain to ignite a political firestorm and yield a complex patchwork of state laws that will effectively block large swathes of the population from terminating unwanted pregnancies.
Here is reaction from Indiana lawmakers, politicians and political parties:
Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb
“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.”
The Indiana Democratic Party
Myla Eldridge, vice-chair of the Indiana Democratic Party, issued the following statement:
“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.
“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.”
INDems referenced a 2019 Ball State University survey showing only 17% of Hoosiers support a total ban on abortions.
Democratic state lawmakers say they’re also disappointed in the ruling and are worried about the impact an abortion ban could have on some pregnant women.
“They are more likely to go into poverty or stay in poverty,” said State Rep. Carey Hamilton (D-Indianapolis). “Their children will more likely be in poverty.”
Democrats argue there are many services and policies lawmakers need to consider to support mothers.
“We need to make sure that we are talking about parental leave,” said State Sen. Shelli Yoder (D-Bloomington). “We need to make sure that we have in place Medicaid coverage.”
Attorney General Todd Rokita
“This is a historic moment.
“With its action today, the U.S. Supreme Court at long last has acknowledged the gross injustice perpetrated by the court in 1973 through the tragic Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion throughout the nation.
“More than 63 million little ones have died at the hands of abortionists in the intervening 49 years since that act of judicial malpractice. Even as we mourn those lost lives, however, today we also rejoice that six justices on the current Supreme Court have acted wisely and courageously to correct one of the worst travesties in our nation’s history.
“My office was honored to assist the attorneys for the State of Mississippi in their preparations to argue the Dobbs case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
“As Indiana’s attorney general, I have devoted much of my time and energy to defending Indiana’s own pro-life laws.
“With today’s Supreme Court ruling, pro-life states such as Indiana should find it easier to legislate and enforce strong laws that protect lives. Even as we expect relief from the burden of spending as much time in court defending our abortion laws, however, we will remain watchful and ready for attempts in Washington D.C. to codify into federal law the same nationwide legalization of abortion that the court foisted on Americans in 1973.
“The Supreme Court has delivered a historic win for life, but our fight for unborn children continues in earnest. We will continue working vigorously to protect those little ones and the physical, mental and emotional well-being of their mothers.”
ACLU of Indiana
“The courts are letting anti-abortion politicians attack our fundamental rights, but they don’t get the final say — we do. The majority of Hoosiers agree that abortion should be safe and accessible, so let’s make our voices heard. The ACLU of Indiana will do everything in our power to block any ban in the courts, but we aren’t waiting to take additional action. Now is the time to let Indiana elected officials know that we will not stand by as they take away women’s rights. We are mobilizing people and urging Hoosiers to hold politicians accountable,” said Jane Henegar, ACLU of Indiana executive director.
Congressman Jim Banks
“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.”
Congressman Jim Baird
“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.”
Senator Greg Taylor
“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.”
Senator Todd Young
“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.”
Senator Rodric Bray
“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.”
Congressman Andre Carson
“Today is a sad day for all Americans who stand for justice, equality, and the access to reproductive healthcare choices. A few months ago, the House passed the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would codify abortion access. This bill should not be a partisan issue. Senate Republicans blocked this bill from a Senate vote. Americans should be furious over the deliberate obstruction, as I am. This should have been passed in both chambers long ago. We cannot force women to have children in a country with an infant formula shortage, no paid maternal leave, and no universal childcare. Abortion is reproductive healthcare, and this decision should be between a woman and her doctor – that’s it. We now have to ask ourselves where do we go from here? We go to the polls. We must hold our elected officials accountable on every level of government. Today and every day, I stand with women.”
Congressman Greg Pence
“Today is a new day for our nation – when Life wins, Freedom wins. As a father and grandfather, I am happy to see the Justices of our Supreme Court have affirmed that EVERY person is granted the right to life under the United States Constitution.”
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.”
Indiana Right to Life
“This is a tremendous victory that can potentially save millions of innocent lives,” said Indiana Right to Life President and Chief Executive Officer Mike Fichter. “Abortion decisions are now back in the hands of the people, to collectively commit that every life has value and pregnant mothers deserve our care and support in choosing life.”
“We’ve come a long way since 1973 – and this monumentally historic SCOTUS decision gives Hoosiers the opportunity to come together as a loving and compassionate people to revisit Indiana abortion laws,” said Fichter. “This a monumental moment in U.S. history, and we look to the state legislature to lead the way in taking up the task of redressing Indiana abortion laws so that the peoples’ voices may be heard in light of this historical decision.”
Indianapolis 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.”
Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton
“Earlier today a radical conservative majority of the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, pushing women’s reproductive privacy and options to the states. The appalling chain of events about to unfold in Indiana sends a clear message to Hoosier women and those capable of pregnancy that they are not full and equal citizens in the eyes of Governor Holcomb and the General Assembly. Millions of Americans and tens of thousands of Bloomingtonians face a much darker future because of today’s extremist decision.
“As mayor of Bloomington, I pledge to fight alongside our Planned Parenthood, All Options Pregnancy Center, and other partners supporting the rights and choices of the Bloomington women and families we are proud to serve.”
This story will be updated as more statements come in.
The Hill contributed to this story.