HANCOCK COUNTY — State legislators representing the county welcomed the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling Friday, returning decisions on regulating abortion to the states.
They and Indiana’s governor say they look forward to taking up that issue from their anti-abortion stances soon.
“I was really pleased to see that they restored the right back to the states to make these decisions,” said Sen. Michael Crider, R-Greenfield. “I totally expect us to have a version of a bill that will come out of the special session that we’re getting ready to have July 6.”
Crider added he thinks abortion restrictions should be as complete as possible.
“I think most states usually end up with a medical exception for the life of the mother, but honestly we have not had an opportunity to draft a bill or to consider a bill that was that complete during the time I’ve been in session, so I think it’s going to be kind of a newer discussion, at least on the Senate side,” he said.
Feelings are comparable among those representing Hancock County in the Indiana House of Representatives.
“Indiana deeply respects and values the lives of all Hoosiers, including the unborn and their mothers,” Indiana Rep. Bob Cherry, R-Greenfield, said in a news release. “Fighting for the rights of those who can’t fight for themselves is one of the most important things we can do as legislators, and I’m eager to return to the Statehouse to take action to support life.”
Indiana Rep. Chris Jeter, R-Fishers, whose district includes part of northwestern Hancock County, shared a similar sentiment.
“After 50 years, the issue of our most basic right, the right to life, has finally been returned to the people and their elected representatives, where it belongs,” Jeter said in a news release. “I look forward to joining my colleagues at the earliest opportunity to pass legislation that protects the life and dignity of unborn Hoosiers.”
All three lawmakers joined others in signing a letter urging GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb to call a special session should the nation’s highest court return the question of abortion back to the states.
“The Supreme Court’s decision is clear, and it is now up to the states to address this important issue,” Holcomb said in a statement. “We’ll do that in short order in Indiana.”
Holcomb on Wednesday signed a proclamation calling the Legislature into a special session starting July 6 to take up a tax refund proposal, but state law allows legislators to take up any subject during a maximum 40-day period.
“I expect members to take up this matter as well,” Holcomb said of abortion. “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.”
The Indiana Democratic Party reacted to Friday’s decision with discouragement.
“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,” Myla Eldridge, vice-chair of the Indiana Democratic Party, said in a news release. “Generations of women for the first time will be forced to make dangerous decisions many of us thought we left in history books.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.