The leaked Supreme Court abortion draft opinion confirmed our deepest fears that the Court is ready to take away Americans’ reproductive freedom.
The draft of the highly anticipated opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization shows the Supreme Court could be on the verge of overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which has been on the books for nearly 50 years, ensuring abortion is a protected federal constitutional right.
If this draft decision is issued as the official decision, the ramifications would be widespread and dire.
Roughly half of the states, including Indiana, could quickly move to ban abortion.
Abortion is still legal and safe in Indiana. But without the constitutional right to abortion in place, the Indiana General Assembly could pass legislation to outright ban abortion, which would pose an immediate threat to both public health and personal freedom. This catastrophic move would cut off pregnant Hoosiers from vital reproductive health care and deprive millions of people of a fundamental right.
We’ve already seen the devastation of banning abortion play out in Texas where many people have been forced to flee their state in search of vital health care or denied the care they need entirely. This nightmare may soon be a reality for millions more.
If the Supreme Court does indeed overturn Roe and the Indiana legislature bans abortion, traveling out of state to get abortion care would be impossible for countless Hoosiers, condemning them to a future they didn’t envision or want for themselves.
Hoosiers shouldn’t be forced to flee their home state, if they even have the resources to do so, in order to receive essential, time-sensitive health care.
While the overturning of Roe would affect millions, the brunt of the harm would fall hardest on the communities who already face systemic barriers to health care. That includes communities of color, LGBTQ+ people, undocumented immigrants, young people, those living in rural areas, people with disabilities, and those with low incomes.
Forcing people to carry pregnancies to term is both cruel and dangerous. In particular, 53 Black women in Indiana die out of every 100,000 through childbirth, compared to 42 white women.
Furthermore, a total abortion ban is immensely unpopular in Indiana. A profound majority of Hoosiers believe everyone should have the freedom to decide if and when to have a child. That’s why most people in Indiana overwhelmingly oppose a total ban on abortion in our state.
For now, this is just a draft opinion, and the actual Supreme Court decision is expected by the end of June. Hoosiers still have a right to abortion and can find where to access abortion care here.
However the decision ultimately comes down, the ACLU of Indiana will never stop fighting for reproductive freedom and the right of Hoosiers to choose what’s best for themselves, their families, and their futures.
Our work isn’t done until everyone can access the abortion care they need, without political interference.