Roe v. Wade – a bigger fight than abortion

What rights will be struck down next?

June 28, 2022 3:00 am

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade and dismantled the constitutional protections for abortion that have existed for nearly 50 years, taking away our ability to control if and when to have a child. And some Indiana elected officials have already signaled their intent to pass an abortion ban, despite the fact that the majority of Hoosiers oppose an outright ban on abortion. 

Gov. Eric Holcomb and Indiana legislators recently announced a special session on July 6, during which, legislators are expected to capitalize on the opportunity to pass an abortion ban following the Dobbs decision.

Banning abortion would leave many Hoosiers with no other option than to carry a pregnancy against their will, which can have life-altering consequences such as enduring serious health risks from continued pregnancy and childbirth. It also can make it harder to escape poverty, derail education and economic future and make it more difficult to leave an abusive partner. The burdens of an abortion ban would also fall disproportionately on women of color, those struggling to make ends meet, young people, rural residents, undocumented immigrants, and the LGBTQ+ communities, deepening existing disparities.

Some Indiana residents have already experienced these consequences due to severe obstacles to abortion care in our state. 

Despite those restrictions on women and abortion providers, access to reproductive healthcare has allowed for major strides in gender equality. Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence and economic stability of roughly 50% of Indiana’s population.

As if taking away a woman’s right to control her own body isn’t bad enough, we also have to recognize that this could be just the beginning.

A direct assault on Roe could also be the basis for undermining a range of other rights. The same politicians seeking to control the bodies of pregnant people are coming for the right to access birth control, the right to marry who you love, or even the right to vote.

The legal reasoning used to overturn Roe v. Wade could also be applied to undo cases such as Loving v. Virginia, signaling a new threat to interracial marriage as we know it. 

It might seem outrageous or unthinkable that the right to marry who you love could be taken away, but just earlier this year, when discussing Roe v. Wade, Indiana U.S. Sen. Mike Braun suggested that the landmark decision legalizing interracial marriage should also be left to the states. While Braun was quick to roll back these remarks, his words cannot be unspoken, and the connection between Roe v. Wade and other civil liberties cases cannot be erased.

With so many attacks on our fundamental rights, I take heart in knowing that the majority of Hoosiers support access to abortion, and that so many of those people are taking action to defend and support one another in their communities, when support from the courts and elected officials is hard to come by. 

As of today, abortion is legal in Indiana. Using any family planning techniques, including contraception of all kinds and abortion care are all deeply personal medical decisions based on what’s right for that person, their family, and their life. Hoosiers should have the freedom to make these decisions without interference from the state.

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Katie Blair
Katie Blair

Katie Blair is the Director of Advocacy and Public Policy at the ACLU of Indiana. She spearheads the organization’s coalition and legislative work on issues like privacy and surveillance, LGBTQ rights, smart justice, immigrant rights, reproductive justice and voting rights.