The Supreme Court issued a ruling today overturning Roe v. Wade — the landmark decision recognizing the constitutional right to abortion nearly 50 years ago. While abortion is still legal today in Indiana, some elected officials have signaled their intent to pass an abortion ban once Roe v. Wade is overturned.  

The court’s decision puts abortion access in jeopardy in Indiana, where several cases regarding restrictive abortion laws were on hold in federal courts, and will now proceed. In the short-term, this could mean additional hurdles for Hoosier women, making it more difficult to access an abortion. In the long-term, it means that the Indiana legislature will likely attempt to pass an all-out ban on abortion. 

This decision is an unprecedented attack on women’s rights and reproductive freedom. Half the states in the country could swiftly act to ban abortion, denying the 36 million women and other people who can become pregnant the fundamental right to decide for themselves whether and when to become a parent. That includes roughly 1.3 million women in 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,” said Jane Henegar, ACLU of Indiana Executive Director. “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.” 

As some Indiana residents have already experienced due to severe obstacles to abortion care, banning abortion leaves many with no other option than to carry a pregnancy to term. Forcing someone to carry a pregnancy against their will has life-altering consequences, including enduring serious health risks from continued pregnancy and childbirth, making it harder to escape poverty, derailing their education and economic future, and making it more difficult to leave an abusive partner.  

Today’s ruling will also have deadly consequences, with the burdens falling disproportionately on women of color, those struggling to make ends meet, young people, rural residents, undocumented immigrants, and the LGBTQ+ communities. Black women and other people of color already face a severe maternal mortality crisis in Indiana, where the maternal mortality rate is the third worst in the nation. For every 100,000 births in Indiana, 42 white women and 53 Black women will die as a result. If abortion is banned nationwide, pregnancy-related deaths are estimated to increase by 21 percent nationwide, and 33 percent among Black women.  

Anti-abortion politicians have put Indiana on the wrong side of history for too long, and the ACLU is determined to not let them off the hook. Gov. Holcomb and Indiana lawmakers have announced a special session on July 6, and the ACLU of Indiana is mobilizing supporters to demand that abortion access not be on the agenda.