Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade: Indiana's political leaders react to abortion ruling

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·12 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

On Friday, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, stating the Constitution does not confer the right to an abortion and voting to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

Here is how Indiana leaders responded to the news:

A watershed decision: Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, eliminating constitutional right to abortion

Gov. Eric Holcomb

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a written statement that the court's decision confers power back to the states "to address this important issue."

Holcomb mentioned the special session of the Indiana General Assembly he called for July 6, saying abortion would be addressed "in short order."

"I have been clear in stating I am pro-life," Holcomb said. "We have an opportunity to make progress in protecting the sanctity of life, and that’s exactly what we will do."

Mayor Joe Hogsett

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, a Democrat, called the court's ruling "deeply disappointing," saying it "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," Hogsett said.

"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."

Mike Pence

In a series of tweets, the former vice president and former Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican, voiced his support for the court's decision.

"By overturning Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court of the United States has given the American people a new beginning for life and I commend the Justices in the majority for having the courage of their convictions," Pence tweeted.

Sen. Todd Young

Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), said he supported the court's decision, saying it 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," Young said. "It’s now time to work on solutions that affirm the right to life and support pregnant women and mothers."

Sen. Mike Braun

In a statement, Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) said he supported the decision.

"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," Braun said.

Rep. Frank Mrvan

In a series of tweets, Rep. Frank Mrvan, a Democrat representing the state's 1st District , condemned the court's decision.

Mrvan said the "lamentable decision by the Supreme Court reflects the very real consequences of our elections."

"I stand with every woman today, and will continue to fight for a country in which all women, including my two daughters, have the legal right to access safe reproductive care," Mrvan said.

Rep. Jackie Walorski

Rep. Jackie Walorski, a Republican representing the state's 2nd District in northern Indiana, said "our prayers have been answered."

"As one of the most pro-life states in the nation, Indiana will lead the way in defending the vulnerable, uplifting women and families and ensuring every child has the chance to achieve the American Dream."

Walorski also tweeted about legislation she is sponsoring to "strengthen transparency at the FDA and expose the true cost" of drugs approved to terminate pregnancies.

"Chemical abortion is the next frontier," she said. "Women deserve to know the truth about abortion pills and their risks."

The FDA has approved mifepristone or mifeprex, in a regimen with misoprostol, to terminate early pregnancies up to 70 days (10 weeks) and has said the drug is "safe and effective when used to terminate a pregnancy in accordance with the revised labeling."

Rep. Jim Banks

Rep. Jim Banks, a Republican representing Indiana's 3rd District, tweeted shortly after the decision was released: "It's a great day for life!"

Rep. Jim Baird

Rep. Jim Baird, a Republican who represents the state's 4th District, tweeted, "Life wins!"

Rep. Victoria Spartz

Rep. Victoria Spartz, a Republican representing Indiana's 5th District, affirmed that the court has "the ultimate say on constitutional issues."

"I support the Court’s decision and encourage my fellow Americans to respect it too regardless of personal views," she said in the tweet.

Rep. Greg Pence

Rep. Greg Pence, a Republican in Indiana's 6th District, tweeted in support of the Supreme Court's ruling.

"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," he said.

Rep. André Carson

Carson, a Democrat representing the state's 7th District in Congress, said he disagreed with the court's decision, calling Friday "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," he said in his tweet.

Rep. Larry Bucshon

Rep. Larry Bucshon, a Republican in Indiana's 8th District, said the court's ruling was "an important step in a decades-long fight toward protecting all life."

"All life is sacred," his statement said. "For more than 15 years this basic principle guided my actions as a physician and continues to mold my thinking as a lawmaker."

Indiana Republican Party Chairman Kyle Hupfer

In a statement, Kyle Hupfer, chairman of the Indiana Republican Party, and said the ruling is a "long, overdue correction to the egregiously decided Roe v. Wade decision."

“The Indiana Republican Party has been unwavering in its defense of life from conception to natural death," Hupfer said. "I look forward to the special session that Governor Holcomb has called so we can implement our longstanding values on life.”

Indiana House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta

Indiana House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta, D-Fort Wayne, condemned the court's ruling in a statement.

“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," GiaQuinta said. "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.”

State Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray

State Senate President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, said he supported the court's ruling and that the Indiana General Assembly would address abortion rights in the upcoming special session beginning July 6.

"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," he said in the statement. "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."

Indiana House Democratic leaders Terri Austin and Cherrish Pryor

Indiana House Democratic Caucus Chair Terri Austin, D-Anderson, and Indiana House Floor Leader Cherrish Pryor, D-Indianapolis, issued a joint statement criticizing the court's decision.

The two said that bodily autonomy, reproductive rights and making decisions for yourself 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," they said. "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."

Austin added that providing over-the-counter birth control would reduce unintended pregnancies and the need for abortion.

“Access to over-the-counter birth control saves lives, allows women to plan their families and provides for better health outcomes," she said.

Pryor pointed to Indiana's high maternal mortality rate.

"Hoosier women cannot afford any legislation that puts them at a greater risk of dying due to pregnancy," she said. "Instead of working to restrict abortions in the state, the legislature ought to be striving to support existing pregnant women and infants."

State Sen. Liz Brown

Liz Brown, R-Fort Wayne, stated her support for the court's ruling in a tweeted statement.

"Hoosier elected officials are better positioned to set abortion policy than unelected judges, as we are answerable to voters and they are not," she said.

"As someone who strongly believes in the sanctity of life," she continued. "I regret unborn babies will continue losing their lives in states with liberal abortion laws. In Indiana, we affirm the dignity of mother and child. We must seize this opportunity to empower women and protect unborn human life."

State Sen. Andrea Hunley

Andrea Hunley, D-Indianapolis, issued a statement condemning the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

"As a mother, a teacher, and a Black woman, I have and will continue to fight for a world where reproductive health choices including abortion are made by the individual and the family, not by lawmakers," she said.

Contact IndyStar trending reporter Claire Rafford at crafford@gannett.com or on Twitter @clairerafford.

This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: Roe v. Wade overturned: Indiana leaders react to abortion ruling