Local state lawmakers split on abortion access going forward

NOW: Local state lawmakers split on abortion access going forward


On Friday, the Supreme Court stripped away the nation’s constitutional protections for abortions after nearly half a century under Roe V. Wade. Now the decision is in the hands of each individual state.

State representatives in Indiana and Michigan ABC57 talked with were divided about how they want to see their state move forward with abortion access.

“I was in the 70’s in the early 70’s I was a part of that fight to get this right and I never thought I’d have to be here again,” said Karen Kemp, the Chair of Michigan South County Democratic Club.

“Giving this choice back to the states back to the people I think is the right decision,” said Republican State Representative Jake Teshka, for Indiana's House District 7.

Right now, in Indiana, abortion is legal up to 20 weeks, but one of more than a dozen states with restrictions or laws banning abortion on the books.

Governor Eric Holcomb has called a special session of the Indiana General Assembly, July 6 ,where he expects state lawmakers to vote on whether to outlaw abortions, all together.

“I would favor a ban in the state of Indiana with the exception for the life of the mother, and I think we’ll land somewhere in there,” said Teshka.

“I don’t think we need any more stringent laws on abortion access in the state of Indiana then what we currently have. There is a very extreme portion of the Indiana general assembly that wants to abolish abortion access and that is the minority,” said Democratic State Rep. Maureen Bauer for Indiana’s House District 6.

Illinois already has laws protecting abortion, but Michigan is still undecided.

On Friday, activists are gathered signatures on a petition to amend the state constitution to guarantee access to abortions.

“…This would go on the ballot in Michigan in November and allow the voters of Michigan to decide if they want to support reproductive freedom in Michigan,” said Jodie Vandenheede, a Pro-Life protest organizer working to get those petitions.

Organizers said they need about 425,000 signatures statewide to help get the amendment to on the ballot come November.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has also filed a lawsuit to protect abortions under Michigan law.

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