IN Brief

Holcomb defends Indiana’s near-total abortion ban, but “respects” differing opinions

By: - August 22, 2023 4:50 pm

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks with reporters on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2023. (Casey Smith/Indiana Capital Chronicle)

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said Tuesday he expects continued debate over the state’s new abortion restrictions, which went back into effect on Monday.

The Republican governor’s comments came one day after Indiana’s Supreme Court justices said they will not rehear their ruling upholding the state’s near-total abortion ban. The high court certified its June ruling on Monday, which means the ban is now enforceable again.

Even so, two of the five justices expressed concerns about whether the abortion law does enough to protect Hoosier women’s health.

“My thoughts haven’t changed — over maybe my last 50 years — but this will be an ongoing discussion. The 50 years that it took for us to get to this most recent law, I’m sure it will be debated for years to come,” Holcomb told reporters Tuesday. “Those expressions from the justices reflect the public, as well. There’s a proper process for these things to be debated and aired and litigated, and they will, and now we have a role to make sure that we’re executing on the law that was passed.”

State lawmakers passed the new abortion law in August 2022, which Holcomb signed into law quickly after. Two lawsuits temporarily halted the ban shortly after it took effect, until Indiana’s high court ruled last month that the ban does not violate the state’s constitution.

Holcomb said Tuesday he didn’t think the abortion law would cause the state to lose business, and tourism, or have other economic impacts.

“I respect everyone’s opinion … I understand there’s a difference of opinion,” Holcomb said. “If you just follow the facts, our state is growing. And we’re growing by about every measure. There were some that said that enrollments would tank at some of our world class universities, and I’ve talked to the presidents recently, and we’re experiencing high enrollment there.” 

He noted, too, that Indiana’s capital investments “are breaking records, year after year.”

When asked about progressive advertising in Michigan that seeks to draw Hoosiers from Indiana amid the fight over abortion access and LGBTQ+ rights, Holcomb gave a short reply.

“Our response is, they lost a congressional delegate because their population didn’t grow fast enough. We didn’t,” he said, referring to Michigan. “So, I won’t counsel (Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer) or second guess her tactics, but it’s not working.”


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Casey Smith
Casey Smith

A lifelong Hoosier, Casey Smith previously reported on the Indiana Legislature for The Associated Press. Internationally, she has reported on water quality across South America. She holds a master’s degree in investigative reporting and narrative science writing from the University of California/Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She previously earned degrees in journalism, anthropology and Spanish from Ball State University, where she now serves as an instructor of journalism.