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Right to Choose Heats Up in Indiana in 2017

Indiana state lawmakers will consider a bill this year to criminalize abortion. (Charles Edward/Wikimedia Commons)
Indiana state lawmakers will consider a bill this year to criminalize abortion. (Charles Edward/Wikimedia Commons)
January 20, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana may be in line with many other states on reproductive rights, but new research suggests it is out of step with the views of women.

The 50-state report released by NARAL Pro-Choice America listed Indiana among 26 states where access to reproductive health care is "severely restricted." Joel Foster, the group's national political director, said Indiana's anti-choice governor and Legislature do not reflect the overall views of the public.

"Based on the extensive research that we've done, seven in 10 Americans support keeping abortion legal," Foster said. "That's not just a majority, that's a consensus, and that consensus includes people from all parts of the country and of all political leaning."

Legislation filed this month at the Statehouse would outlaw all forms of abortion in Indiana. Known as "Protection at Conception," House Bill 1134 by Rep. Curt Nisly, R-Goshen, would make any pregnancy termination a criminal act for the woman and medical professionals who perform abortions.

NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said the report findings highlight the uncertain future of reproductive freedom in the United States if President-elect Donald Trump appoints Supreme Court justices who overturn Roe vs. Wade, a case decided 44 years ago this week.

"Women in this country are just living life as impossible paradoxes," Hogue said, "all because anti-choice politicians believe that they should impose their ideology on the rest of us, and refuse to provide women the freedom and support to live our independent lives."

Hogue said there are strong concerns about Trump's nomination of U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., to run the Department of Health and Human Services. She said Price has supported many anti-choice measures, including a ban on federal health coverage for abortions.

"[There are] some anti-choice politicians who sort of go with the flow, and there are some who really feel this in their gut - and Tom Price appears to be the latter," Hogue sid. "He spent the vast majority of his time in Congress actually substituting his own ideology for the judgment of his own constituents."

The report said 16 states and the District of Columbia enacted 30 pro-choice measures in 2016.

The report is online at, and the legislation is at

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - IN