INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place for nearly 50 years in a decision by its conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade. Friday’s outcome is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.
Here is a look at how Indiana and Illinois politicians reacted to the news:
Governor Eric Holcomb
“The Supreme Court’s decision is clear, and it is now up to the states to address this important issue. We’ll do that in short order in Indiana. I’ve already called the General Assembly back on July 6, and I expect members to take up this matter as well. I have been clear in stating I am pro-life. We have an opportunity to make progress in protecting the sanctity of life, and that’s exactly what we will do.”Governor Eric Holcomb (R)
Indiana Democratic Party
“My heart breaks today, because with the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion, a 50-year understanding and American-standard has been stripped away from women of all stripes, colors, and backgrounds. Generations of women for the first time will be forced to make dangerous decisions many of us thought we left in history books. And what horrifies me most, underprivileged women – especially Black and Brown Hoosiers in urban communities – will see their futures dashed or their lives be put at risk because the nation’s highest court backed a small minority over the large majority of Americans who want to keep living up to the foundations and freedoms of the United States.Vice-Chair of the Indiana Democratic Party Myla Eldridge (D)
In Indiana, the days are now numbered to get a safe and legal abortion. And what scares me the most is the fact we have a state government who is ready to request that Governor Eric Holcomb call a special session and use taxpayer dollars just to ban this medical procedure in the state. It is unclear how extreme the Indiana Republican Party will go, but politicians like U.S. Senator Todd Young and State Representative John Jacob have signed pledges they wish for the state to enact a total ban on abortions – even in the cases of rape, incest, or saving the life of the mother. Should the Republican Supermajority go as extreme as many of us believe, they will be fulfilling a national partisan agenda that only 17-percent of Hoosiers support in this state.
This is the first time in our nation’s history that we’ve taken such a huge step back on personal freedom, and I am horrified about what other dominos will fall now that women will lose their rights to this legal and safe procedure. A woman’s right to contraception and birth control will be the next issue up for debate, and I fear the Indiana Republican Party will continue their crusade of violating the privacy rights of Hoosiers – because have repeatedly shown us they believe a Hoosier’s personal life should be subjected for approval by politicians – not doctors or medical professionals.
The Indiana Democratic Party sides with the 83-percent of Hoosiers who believe access to abortions should be legal in some form. We side with the belief that it’s truly only a woman’s right to choose, and the belief that a politician has no business being in a doctor’s office with a woman and her doctor. And, Indiana Democrats will fight tooth and nail every step of the way against this form of dangerous and extreme partisanship. Democrats will show voters and families that the Indiana Republican Party is no longer the so-called ‘conservative’ party of decades past – but an extreme one who prioritizes an un-American, partisan agenda over creating a better future for families in all 92 counties.”
Attorney General Todd Rokita
This is a historic moment.Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita (R)
With its action today, the U.S. Supreme Court at long last has acknowledged the gross injustice perpetrated by the court in 1973 through the tragic Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion throughout the nation.
More than 63 million little ones have died at the hands of abortionists in the intervening 49 years since that act of judicial malpractice. Even as we mourn those lost lives, however, today we also rejoice that six justices on the current Supreme Court have acted wisely and courageously to correct one of the worst travesties in our nation’s history.
My office was honored to assist the attorneys for the State of Mississippi in their preparations to argue the Dobbs case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
As Indiana’s attorney general, I have devoted much of my time and energy to defending Indiana’s own pro-life laws.
With today’s Supreme Court ruling, pro-life states such as Indiana should find it easier to legislate and enforce strong laws that protect lives. Even as we expect relief from the burden of spending as much time in court defending our abortion laws, however, we will remain watchful and ready for attempts in Washington D.C. to codify into federal law the same nationwide legalization of abortion that the court foisted on Americans in 1973.
The Supreme Court has delivered a historic win for life, but our fight for unborn children continues in earnest. We will continue working vigorously to protect those little ones and the physical, mental and emotional well-being of their mothers.
Congressman Jim Baird
“I have long believed that the Supreme Court’s decision to claim authority over the rights of the unborn was one of the darkest moments in its history; today’s decision represents not only a great victory in the fight to preserve life at every stage and for states’ rights, but the opportunity to right a wrong. The right to life is the cornerstone of American principles and now states will have the ability to protect life at every stage, restoring some balance to our federalist system. After nearly 50 years, we have finally corrected this stain on our nation’s history, and I’m proud to join the millions of Americans across the country in celebrating this monumental and well overdue decision.”Jim Baird (R) (IN-04)
Congressman Larry Bucshon
“All life is sacred. For more than 15 years this basic principle guided my actions as a physician and continues to mold my thinking as a lawmaker. The Supreme Court’s ruling today is an important step in a decades-long fight toward protecting all life and will return the decision to the states to best reflect the views of their people,”Dr. Larry Bucshon (R) (IN-08)
Planned Parenthood of Indiana
“Make no mistake – this decision goes beyond abortion. This is about who has power over you, who has the authority to make decisions for you, and who can control your future. This is a dark day for our country, but our fight is far from over. The people of Indiana should know that Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates will always fight for you, and we will not back down. Generations before us have fought tirelessly to gain and protect our rights. Now it’s our turn to pick up the mantle.”Jennifer M. Allen, CEO of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates.
“It is my promise to every person in Indiana that Planned Parenthood will never back down. We will keep fighting with everything we’ve got to ensure that everyone can access the care you need to control your body and your life. I want to be clear: Planned Parenthood will always be here to help you get the care you need.”Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai‘i, Indiana, Kentucky
Senator Mike Braun
“After 50 years, the right to life has finally been returned to the people and their elected representatives. 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.”US Senator Mike Braun (R)
ACLU of Indiana
“The courts are letting anti-abortion politicians attack our fundamental rights, but they don’t get the final say — we do. The majority of Hoosiers agree that abortion should be safe and accessible, so let’s make our voices heard. The ACLU of Indiana will do everything in our power to block any ban in the courts, but we aren’t waiting to take additional action. Now is the time to let Indiana elected officials know that we will not stand by as they take away women’s rights. We are mobilizing people and urging Hoosiers to hold politicians accountable,”ACLU of Indiana executive director Jane Henegar
Senator Todd Young
“Today is a monumental day for the protection of life in America and a defining moment for our nation. Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided, and the Supreme Court 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. It’s now time to work on solutions that affirm the right to life and support pregnant women and mothers.”US Senator Todd Young (R)
Indiana House Republicans
“Today’s court ruling gives the General Assembly the opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to life. While it’s too early to know what possible legislation could look like, I look forward to discussing this important issue with my House colleagues and taking action to strengthen protections for the unborn.”Wendy McNamara (R) (IN-76)
Governor J.B. Pritzker
We knew this day was coming.
The extremists on the Supreme Court have made an abhorrent decision — one rooted in partisan games — leaving an indelible stain on our nation. Overturning Roe v. Wade directly contradicts the nation’s history of expanding rights in the United States. It’s an attack on freedom and liberty our constitution is supposed to guarantee. Right now, it’s abortion they’re taking away. Next, it will be birth control and other contraceptives. Next: fertility treatment. They are coming to take away women’s power to become mothers at the time of their choosing. And they are allowing states to criminalize the exercise of reproductive rights. Women and their doctors are now threatened with going to prison or being bankrupted because of the radical majority Donald Trump and his right-wing allies created on the Supreme Court.
Here we are. At exactly the point many of us feared and even predicted. Privacy rights are being eviscerated right before our very eyes. If they can take away your ability to control your own body, there’s not much that stops them from making marriage equality illegal and taking away employment protections for your beliefs or your orientation.
No ifs, ands, or buts about it: we are headed down a dangerous spiral that will erode our democracy. This attack on personal rights is not new in the world. We’ve read this book before. I’ve read this book before. Maybe the Supreme Court will now authorize burning the book.
If you want a glimpse into the future, you can look to our past.
Just a few miles away from here, at the old Cook County hospital, there was a wing once known as Ward 41. Ward 41 was dedicated to what they used to call “septic obstetrics”—or in layman’s terms: botched abortions. From 1961 to 1965 ALONE, Ward 41 doctors managed the aftermath of over 20,000 illegal abortions. Because abortions were illegal, desperate women sought out desperate solutions. Hospital professionals from back then say what they saw was nothing short of horrific — disturbing memories etched into their minds for eternity.
They treated women who burned their insides with bleach and peroxide. Women whose uteruses were perforated with paintbrushes, cocktail stirrers, knitting needles, and wire coat hangers. Women who were nearly dead due to unimaginable blood loss and advanced sepsis. These women saw no other choice. They risked their lives out of desperation for just a semblance of control. And far too many died.
Before Roe v. Wade, criminal abortions were the leading cause of maternal death in the United States by a 7 to 1 margin. Those who did not die were left infertile, in perpetual pain, and permanently traumatized. Today, I’m thinking about those women—those we’ve lost and those we’ve harmed. We cannot allow their deaths to be in vain.
Make no mistake: in the many states where they will be illegal, abortions will continue. Now they will also be dangerous, they will be secretive and they will be deadly.
I am here to say: We cannot go back to Ward 41. In Illinois, we WILL NOT go back to Ward 41. And for all the women whose fundamental rights have been taken away today, we stand with you. We will raise our voices, we will open our arms to help you and we will protect your rights.
To the right-wing officeholders who today are cheering the Supreme Court’s ruling: GET YOUR IRON BOOT OFF WOMEN’S NECKS! Hop off your high horse and know that what you’re calling a “celebration of life” today will actually lead to death — the death of women in abusive situations, the death of women whose health is at risk, the death of women and girls who will still seek abortions—ones that are unsafe and performed by unqualified back-alley butchers.
Let me make this explicit and clear to women throughout our state, the Midwest, and our nation: Illinois will be a safe haven for the exercise of your reproductive rights. In Illinois, Roe v. Wade is still the law, and it will remain the law as long as we have a pro-choice legislature and a pro-choice governor. Here, we trust you to make your own decisions about your reproductive health. We will defend your right to bodily autonomy.
In Illinois, we will hold firm to these rights and continue to work with stakeholders – many of whom are standing with me now – to expand them.
To that end, I am informing the General Assembly that I will be calling them into special session in the coming weeks to more firmly protect women’s reproductive rights in Illinois and address the challenges posed by this radical Supreme Court decision. I’m grateful to have the support and partnership of House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch and Senate President Don Harmon in this effort. Together, the Democratic leadership in Illinois is committed to taking swift action to further enshrine our commitment to reproductive healthcare.
I want to close by speaking directly to those who have the most at stake in today’s decision:
To the single mom juggling four kids and three-part time jobs, Illinois will fight for you. To the teenage CHILD, who endured rape or incest, Illinois will fight for you. To the marginalized and most vulnerable, who are being attacked at every turn by transphobic, or misogynistic or bigoted politicians, Illinois will fight for you. We will NOT turn back the clock. Here in the Land of Lincoln and the home state of Barack Obama, where we were the first to ratify women’s suffrage 100 years ago, we will continue the fight for freedom, liberty, and justice for ALL.
Senator Tammy Duckworth
“I am outraged and horrified—this outcome is a nightmare that robs women of their right to make their own choices about their healthcare and their bodies, and it paves the way for a nationwide abortion ban that Republicans have been seeking for decades. Millions of American families—including my own—have relied on Roe v. Wade for almost 50 years, and 70% of Americans believe it should remain the law of the land. The Supreme Court of the United States and the Justices who claimed Roe was ‘settled law,’ but then turned around and ruled otherwise, will—as Justice Sotomayor said—’struggle to survive the stench’ of this extreme decision.US Senator Tammy Duckworth (D)
In a nation with a growing maternal mortality crisis and often inaccessible healthcare, without affordable child care or universal paid leave, forcing births on anyone—even when the mother’s life could be at risk—is not only cruel, it will also be deadly. Doctors working in states where abortion, or even management of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, is outlawed could even be threatened with prison for daring to save a patient’s life. Victims of rape could be forced to relive their trauma every day.
I refuse to let my daughters grow up in a world with fewer rights than I had. As Republicans continue their march toward a nationwide abortion ban, I will do everything in my power to ensure that Illinois remains a safe haven for all women seeking reproductive care. It is as important as ever that the Senate acts to codify Roe v. Wade into law so that every American in every state has equal access to basic, necessary healthcare—regardless of their skin color, zip code or income.”
Illinois Democratic Party
“Today’s decision is a profoundly disturbing attack on legal precedent and a devastating blow against women’s fundamental right to decide what’s best for their own bodies and lives. The Supreme Court has trampled on decades of established law, tossing aside sound legal judgment in an effort to force their far-right agenda upon our nation.Illinois Democratic Party Chair Rep. Robin Kelly (D)
In states across the nation, this decision ends the right for millions of women to access safe reproductive health care. However, the right to safe, accessible abortion is still legal here in Illinois. Illinois Democrats have enacted some of the strongest reproductive health access laws of any state in the nation, and we will continue to serve as a haven for women across the Midwest and the country who need access to abortion.
I share the pain, shock, and anger so many are feeling, and I am especially worried about further attacks on the rights of women, the LGBTQ+ community, and people of color from this court. However, Illinois Democrats will never relent in fighting back in the General Assembly, in the halls of Congress, or at the ballot box to protect the fundamental rights of all Americans.”
Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton
I am angry but unafraid. Today, and every day, I will continue fighting forLt. Governor Juliana Stratton (D)
a woman’s right to bodily autonomy. I am disappointed but determined. Although we
have known for weeks that our right to bodily autonomy can be a matter of debate, and
can be taken away with a single decision, we cannot avoid the deep ache caused by this
ruling. It is a dark day for our country.
I ache for the women across the nation who fear for what comes next. I ache for my
daughters, who are losing a constitutional right that was afforded to their mother. I ache
for the lives—the lives of BIPOC women, in particular—that this decision has put at risk.
The road ahead is hard and treacherous, but raising our voices is now more important
than ever. Those who want to restrict our freedoms and strip away our rights may call
today a victory, but tomorrow and every day we will be at the frontlines to push back.
To everyone affected by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe V. Wade, you are
not alone in the journey ahead. We stand with the activists, organizers, and community
members across the country in the fight for bodily autonomy, and we will continue to
ensure that Illinois will always be a bulwark in that fight.
Senator Dick Durbin
Today’s decision eliminates a federally protected constitutional right that has been the law for nearly half a century. As a result, millions of Americans are waking up in a country where they have fewer rights than their parents and grandparents.US Senator Dick Durbin (D)
Congresswoman Mary Miller
“A joyous victory for Life! The end of Roe is the beginning of a new chapter, where we embrace a culture of life with a reverence for God’s children. I applaud President Trump, who delivered on his promise of a Court that would honor the Constitution and our sacred right to life.”Mary Miller (R)(IL-15)
This article will continue to be updated as statements come into our newsroom.