INDIANAPOLIS—Today, the United States Supreme Court handed down its ruling in the case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The opinion reverses the 50-year precedent set by the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade which made access to abortion care a constitutional right. This ruling returns the decision of abortion to the states.
The Indiana Republican Supermajority has already announced that they would push for abortion restrictions in Indiana following the SCOTUS decision. Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) released the following statement:
“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.”