Recently, a 10-year-old girl was forced to flee to Indiana in order to have an abortion after the Supreme Court ruling banned the procedure in her home state of Ohio. Dr. Caitlin Bernard, an OBGYN specialist from Indianapolis said she was shocked when she received a call from a child abuse doctor in Ohio, informing her of the young girl’s pregnancy.
“It’s hard to imagine that in just a few short weeks we will have no ability to provide that care,” Bernard, who agreed to help the 10-year-old patient, told the Indianapolis Star. Ohio’s six-week abortion ban immediately took effect following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Indiana could eventually restrict access to abortion
For now, abortion remains legal in Indiana. A woman can undergo the procedure up to 22 weeks after their last menstruation, according to state law. However, in late July, Republican legislative officials are planning to conduct a multi-week special session that will address ways to further restrict the procedure in the Hoosier state.
“Statehouse leaders said the General Assembly will vet bills through the full legislative process, including committee hearings and public testimony,” Erin Wittern, spokesperson for the Indiana House Republicans, said in a statement.
Lauren Ganapini, an executive from the Indiana Democratic Party, fears that Republican state lawmakers are “waiting for the dust to settle” before their strike down more laws hindering women’s rights.
“That includes a total ban on abortions — even in cases of rape and incest,” she added to the Indy Star.
“Only 17% of Hoosiers support this extreme policy, and Democrats are ready to hold them accountable for trying to throw Indiana back to the 1950’s.”
Health officials are bracing themselves for an outpour of patients seeking care from restricted locations like Ohio, Kentucky, and Missouri.
Planned Parenthood Illinois predicts that their patient intake will increase double to triple now that Roe has been overturned, that’s 20,000 to 30,000 patients overall that could be forced to travel out of state for abortion access, Business Insider noted.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot previously told MSNBC that she was doing everything in her power to make Illinois an “oasis” for women seeking abortion and other reproductive care services following the launch of her “Justice for All Pledge” initiative in May.
“This is a start and not an ending, but it is absolutely a time for us to rally together and make sure that we are reunited and not turning back the clock on women’s lives,” Lightfoot said.