Advocates, medical community respond to the overturning of Roe v. Wade

Rachel Fradette
Indianapolis Star

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday struck down Roe v. Wade — the 1973 landmark ruling — eliminating the constitutional right to abortion across all 50 states. 

The 6-3 decision comes weeks after a draft of the court's opinion was leaked to and published by POLITICO

Here's what Hoosier advocates both for and against abortion rights are saying:

ACLU of Indiana

In a series of tweets, the ACLU of Indiana encouraged people to reach out to Gov. Eric Holcomb's office and state legislators to protect the right to abortion within the state. 

In a statement Friday, Holcomb said state legislators should take up the issue of abortion in a special session planned for early next month. 

"I have been clear in stating I am pro-life," Holcomb said. "We have an opportunity to make progress in protecting the sanctity of life, and that’s exactly what we will do."

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Indiana Right to Life

Indiana's Right to Life chapter expressed gratitude for the decision, tweeting: "Thank God."

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American Family Association of Indiana

In an emailed statement, the director of AFA-IN Micah Clark encouraged Indiana's General Assembly to "prevent abortion as a means of birth control" in the upcoming special legislative session.

"A woman’s right to choose occurs before conception," Clark said. "After conception, there is a new life to consider and protect. The legislature should protect innocent life in as many cases as possible, finally making abortion truly rare."

Clark said legislators should "consider expanding funding or other help for women who are in a crisis pregnancy situation and for entities that assist in those situations, including counseling, pregnancy resources, and maternal care."

Clark said Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita should "review any pending lawsuits from abortion advocates challenging our laws, and file a motion with the courts to dismiss them in light of this historic ruling."

Planned Parenthood 

In a written statement, Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Indiana and Kentucky, said: “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."

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Women4Change Indiana

Women4Change Indiana CEO Rima Shahid said the group is disheartened by the votes.

“However, we are not discouraged; we are determined," Shahid said. "We are determined to fight the battle ahead of us to protect reproductive rights for all. We invite all Hoosiers to join Women4Change in advocating for women’s rights to make critical decisions about their health.”

Greater Indianapolis NAACP

The local chapter of the NAACP shared a statement by national General Counsel Janette McCarthy Wallace.

"As a legal professional, I am horrified by this decision,"  McCarthy Wallace said. "As a Black woman, I am outraged to my core. The deciding Justices have ignored fundamental civil rights guaranteed by our Constitution and years of judicial precedent to advance a politically partisan agenda."

McCarthy Wallace said Black women stand to be disproportionately impacted by the decision.

IU Abortion Attitudes Project

The Indiana University Abortion Attitudes Project shared findings from its study on how people view Roe v. Wade.

The group's data show once informed about Roe v. Wade, the majority of those surveyed wanted it upheld. 

Indiana's medical community responds to Roe v. Wade decision

Advocates in the medical community are also sharing their thoughts.

Dr. Katie McHugh, an OB/GYN based in Indiana, echoed the importance of abortion being considered healthcare.  

"Holding us all in my heart, today and always," McHugh tweeted. 

The Indiana University School of Medicine's Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology tweeted support of a rally for abortion rights that will be held on IUPUI's campus June 29. 

"Let’s send a message to Indiana lawmakers as medical professionals in support of patient's [sic] reproductive rights," the Indiana School of Medicine also tweeted. 

Contact IndyStar's general assignment reporter Rachel Fradette at or follow her on Twitter: @Rachel_Fradette.