An Indiana Lawmaker Wants To Put A Total Ban On Abortion

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
A state representative from Indiana is planning to propose legislation that would put a total ban on abortions of any kind in the state.

According to the Indianapolis Star, State Rep. Curt Nisly stated on Wednesday that he would introduce a "Protection at Conception" bill that would make all abortions a crime. Under this proposal, anyone who undergoes an abortion procedure in Indiana could be charged by a prosecutor.

“You would treat the death of an unborn child like you would any other human being,” the Republican representative told Indy Star.

The bill, of course, would be unconstitutional under the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling from 1973, which established a woman's constitutional right to an abortion across all 50 states.
“My position is that the Supreme Court is wrong with Roe v. Wade,” Nisly told Indy Star. “And they don’t have jurisdiction in this manner. 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.”

Nisly plans to file the "Protection at Conception" legislation when the General Assembly convenes in January.

Given that President-elect Donald Trump's recent interview with 60 Minutes confirmed that he plans to appoint anti-choice judges to the Supreme Court who would rule against Roe v. Wade, this news likely won't assuage women's fears around reproductive rights. In light of Trump's win, many women are already worried about the future of abortion access. Indiana in particular has been embroiled in a heated abortion debate since the state's governor, Mike Pence (now Vice President-elect of the U.S.) signed a bill in April that would have severely limited women's access to abortion.

Ken Falk, legal counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, seemed to have confidence that Nisly's proposal would be dismissed by the Supreme Court, telling Indy Star that the bill was “obviously unconstitutional."

“I’d be surprised if any court would go in and tear down anything that has so clearly and for so long been the law of the land,” he said.

Whether or not Falk is right remains to be seen, but it's clear that the fight for reproductive rights is far from over.

"We won’t watch while Indiana becomes the most dangerous state for pregnant people," Yamani Hernandez, executive director of the National Network of Abortion Funds, said in a statement to Refinery29 regarding the proposed bill.

"Abortion is healthcare," she continued. "Abortion is a necessary social good for many who are not able to parent in safe, healthy, or supportive environments. Abortion is deeply necessary as an option for all people who become pregnant. When abortion is legal, funded, and protected, that’s when we know our legislators care about our lives, our health, our futures, and our families.”

Though this bill won't be filed until January, if you want to protect reproductive rights, there are plenty of ways to start now.
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