One hundred Indiana lawmakers just asked Gov. Eric Holcomb to call a special legislative session to protect unborn babies if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade this summer.
In a letter Tuesday, Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston, President Pro Tempore Rodric Bray and others asked the governor to call a special session for pro-life legislation “at the earliest date practicable” if the high court either fully or partially overturns Roe.
“Providing a voice for those that have not yet been able to speak for themselves is a responsibility that we do not take lightly, and this is exactly why this request is so important,” the lawmakers wrote.
Almost every Republican in the state legislature signed the letter, according to The Indiana Lawyer.
Currently, because of Roe, states are forced to legalize abortions up to viability. However, the Supreme Court is considering a Mississippi case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, that challenges that precedent. A ruling is expected this summer.
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Because of the conservative majority on the court, many hope the justices will partially or fully overturn Roe and allow states to protect unborn babies from abortion again.
In their letter, the Indiana lawmakers told Holcomb that they want to protect unborn babies “without delay” as soon as the Supreme Court allows states to do so.
“As a state that recognizes that life is a precious gift that should never be neglected, it is our desire that you … ensure that those values are upheld without delay,” they wrote.
Erin Murphy, press secretary for the governor, told the AP that Holcomb “is absolutely considering” the request for a special pro-life session.
Indiana is one of 26 states that likely would protect unborn babies by banning abortions if Roe is overturned, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Researchers estimated that abortion numbers would drop by about 120,000 in the first year and potentially even more in subsequent years if the high court allows states to ban abortions again.
Here’s more from the Indiana Lawyer:
The Indiana Legislature announced at the beginning of this year’s short legislative session it wouldn’t pursue any major anti-abortion action until after SCOTUS made a decision.
“I have long believed that most policymaking decisions are best left to the states, and pro-life issues are no exception,” Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray, R-Martinsville, said in the statement. “We can’t predict what the Supreme Court will do in Dobbs, but if Roe is partially or wholly overturned, my caucus members and I are ready to act as soon as possible to protect life in our state.”
Indiana Right to Life president and CEO Mike Fichter praised lawmakers for making preparations to protect unborn babies.
“We are deeply appreciative of these legislators taking action to encourage a special session if the Supreme Court opens new opportunities for protecting life in Indiana,” Fichter said. “We come alongside these legislators in encouraging Governor Holcomb to take decisive action if Roe vs. Wade is completely, or partially, reversed.”
Without a special session, Fichter said the legislature would not be able to address a June reversal of Roe vs. Wade until 2023, during which time nearly 4,000 unborn babies would be aborted in Indiana.
The letter received criticism from two pro-abortion Democrat lawmakers, state Sens. Jean Breaux of Indianapolis and Shelli Yoder of Bloomington, according to the AP.
“The notion that our 76-percent male state legislature should be able to make decisions about women’s own bodies and livelihoods on their behalf is ludicrous,” they said in a statement.
There were 7,756 abortions in Indiana in 2020, according to state health statistics. Since Roe in 1973, more than 63.5 million unborn babies have been killed in abortions in the United States.