In response to the Supreme Court decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned landmark case Roe v. Wade, state legislators representing the IU-Bloomington campus have issued statements opposing the decision.
Senator Shelli Yoder, a Democrat representing Indiana Senate District 40, released a statement over email. She stated the decision was not a pro-life victory, but rather that it would cause women to lose their lives as a result of risky or unwanted pregnancies.
“Make no mistake,” Yoder said, “this decision is not about preserving lives — it is about controlling them.”
Yoder said the decision is part of a larger movement against privacy and civil rights progress.
“This ruling forces women of all faiths, races and beliefs across America to legally submit to a narrow, remarkably backwards judgment of their bodily autonomy and societal value,” Yoder said. “It undermines all American aspirations of equality, justice and freedom. If we truly believed in justice, in freedom, we would let women make their own decisions without fear of state retribution.”
She said she hopes the Indiana legislature maintains current law, which allows abortion but may move against it in the next legislative session, and that disallowing access to abortion is against women’s rights, privacy, families and what voters want.
“A woman will always be better-equipped than her government to make this decision: to assume anything else is a grave insult to the intellect and independence of all women, pro-choice and ‘pro-life’ alike,” Yoder said.
Representative Matt Pierce, a Democrat representing the 61st District in the Indiana House of Representatives, released a statement to the IDS.
"Today, the United States Supreme Court took away a woman's constitutional right to exercise control over her own body and opened the door for even more extreme government actions limiting the use of birth control and who we choose to marry,” Pierce said.
He stated he believes the state will “likely outlaw abortion” in the upcoming state legislative special session, and that the only question is whether there will be any exceptions to the ban.
“It will be up to the voters in November to decide whether the legislature's actions will stand,” Pierce said.
Bloomington residents interested in contacting their state legislators can reach Matt Pierce or Shelli Yoder online, and those living outside of the area represented can find their legislators on the Indiana General Assembly website.