INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – One week after the election, the fight over abortion heats up again as an Indiana lawmaker plans to introduce a bill that would ban abortion statewide.
Although it hasn’t been written yet, State Rep. Curt Nisly said he plans to file the “Protection at Conception” bill in the upcoming legislative session. It would make all abortions in Indiana a crime.
“My goal is to treat the death of an unborn child like you would any other human being,” said Rep. Nisly. “As an elected official, I will continue to support pro-life policies seeking to preserve the dignity of all human life and provide a voice for the voiceless.”
Legal experts said such a ban would be found unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade, but pro-life groups hope to have a chance if President-Elect Donald Trump makes changes to the Supreme Court by appointing pro-life Justices.
“You have also a huge majority that says Roe v. Wade is unconstitutional. So you know there is a discussion that needs to be had,” said Amy Schlichter, founder of pro-life group Hoosiers 4 Life. “One of our most tragic court cases was Roe v. Wade and the hope of that getting thrown out is absolutely inviting.”
ACLU Legal Director Ken Falk doesn’t believe anything will change with the Supreme Court and a reversal of Roe v. Wade is very unlikely.
“Supreme court justices, no matter who they are, generally have a great deal of respect for precedent. No one is well served by having a Supreme Court that becomes a political body that changes its opinion based on who’s there. And I think all of the Justices recognize that.”
Falk is watching to see what the state legislature does in the upcoming session.
“I don’t know why you would push a bill that is clearly unconstitutional,” he said. “The legislature probably has better things to do than consider laws that will be struck down immediately when they are passed.”
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky is also reacting. President Betty Cockrum called the proposed ban “blatantly unconstitutional” and called on Rep. Nisly to do more to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
“The way that you reduce abortion is to educate and provide birth control and make sure that pregnancies are planned. Rep. Nisly and his ilk do nothing to forward that,” said Cockrum.
She admitted, she was worried about the movement to reverse Roe v. Wade.
“We have to be concerned about that and a number of other things. It’s interesting to me that the President-Elect has been clear that the marriage equality issue has been settled. Here go he will leave it alone. But Roe v. Wade was settled decades before the issue of marriage equality came to the Supreme Court, yet he is prepared to take that one on.”
In the meantime, pro-life groups are hoping support for their cause will continue to mount ahead of the session.
“My hope is that the people of Indiana will rally behind pre-born life,” said Schlichter.