Indiana State Rep. Curt Nisly said Wednesday he plans to introduce a bill that would ban abortion statewide. His proposal comes as Republican lawmakers controlling statehouses across the nation, Congress and the White House have vowed to crack down on abortion rights.
“My goal is to treat the death of an unborn child like you would any other human being," Rep. Nisly told local reporters. "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."
While such a ban would be unconstitutional under the Supreme Court's Roe V. Wade verdict, which protects a woman’s right to abortion, pro-life groups might have a chance to outlaw abortion if the Supreme Court ever decides to overturn the landmark decision in a new ruling. President-elect Donald Trump opened the floodgates to the fight over abortion in a CBS “60 Minutes” interview Sunday when he said he would elect “pro-life” judges to the Supreme Court that could potentially undo Roe v. Wade. Trump said that if the ruling was overturned, the issue of abortion would go to the states. If woman lived in states where abortion became illegal, they would have to travel to another one to have the operation, Trump said.
“My position is that the Supreme Court is wrong with Roe v. Wade and they don’t have jurisdiction in this manner,” Nisly told the Indy Star. “This is the state of Indiana asserting the powers that are given to them, specifically in the 9th and 10th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.”
ACLU Legal Director Ken Falk said the Supreme Court is unlikely to overturn the Roe V. Wade verdict. He said the Justices have a great deal of respect for upholding 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 told local reporters. “The Legislature probably has better things to do than consider laws that will be struck down immediately when they are passed."
Betty Cockrum, president of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, said she was worried about Trump’s rhetoric about potentially overturning the Roe V. Wade verdict. Nisly should try and reduce abortions by educating and providing women birth control to inspire planned pregnancies, Cockrum said.
Amy Schlichter, founder of pro-life group “Hoosiers 4 Life," an organization dedicated to ending abortion in Indiana, said a majority of people in the state find the Supreme Court verdict to be “unconstitutional.”
"One of our most tragic court cases was Roe v. Wade and the hope of that getting thrown out is absolutely inviting,” Schlichter told local reporters. “So you know there is a discussion that needs to be had."
Roughly 954,000 abortions were performed in the U.S. in 2014, down from approximately 983,000 abortions in 2013 and 1.02 million abortions in 2012, according to state level entry data and statistics from the Centers Of Disease Control.