Despite the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade that established the right to abortion nationwide, a Republican member of the Indiana House of Representatives plans to propose legislation that would ban abortion in his state.
Nisly’s proposal would criminalize abortion, and prosecutors could file charges against those who participate in the procedure, including doctors, nurses and patients.
“You would treat the death of an unborn child like you would any other human being,” Nisly said.
In situations where the pregnancy presents a risk to the woman, Nisly’s proposal would demand that the doctor try to save both the woman and the child.
“The idea here is always, always try to save the baby,” Nisly said.
As the Star reports, Nisly’s measure would likely be ruled unconstitutional, since Roe v. Wade and rulings that have come after it have established a woman’s right to an abortion. Nisly thinks that the Roe v. Wade ruling is wrong, and he believes that the state should have the ultimate say.
“My position is that the Supreme Court is wrong with Roe v. Wade,” Nisly said, “and they don’t have jurisdiction in this matter. This is the state of Indiana asserting the powers that are given to them, specifically in the Ninth and 10th amendments of the U.S. Constitution.”
According to the Star, conservative activists emboldened by Donald Trump’s decisive victory in Indiana are already rallying behind the measure, and they are hoping that a change in the composition of the Supreme Court bench will help tackle any legal challenges the proposal might face.
On the campaign trail, Trump promised to appoint Supreme Court justices that oppose abortion, and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, signed legislation in March that prohibited women from having an abortion based on the race, gender or disability of the fetus, and required burial or cremation for aborted fetuses. A federal judge later suspended the law from going into effect, saying that it would likely be ruled unconstitutional.
Ken Falk, legal counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, told the Star that Nisly’s proposal is “obviously unconstitutional.”
“I don’t think a legislator sworn to uphold the laws of the United States should be introducing laws that are so obviously unconstitutional,” Falk said.
Falk also dismissed the idea of a Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.
“I’d be surprised if any court would go in and tear down anything that has so clearly and for so long been the law of the land,” Falk said.
Read more at the Indianapolis Star.