The ruling overturning Roe versus Wade essentially takes away Constitutional protections for legal abortion. But, Indiana University professor of Constitutional Law Dan Conkle says it doesn’t guarantee protections for the fetus.
“There’s not a Constitutional right to life on the part of the unborn fetus,” he explained. “This is simply declaring that it’s up to the states to decide through the political process whether and to what extend abortion should be permitted, prohibited or regulated.”
Cokle said the state legislature has an opportunity to act soon, with a special legislative session coming up July 6, to deal with a refund to Hoosiers.
“I think it is highly likely that states will act, including Indiana,” he said. “So, the real question I think is, for a state like Indiana, how far the legislature might choose to go.”
Conkle said any state might run into trouble if they go all the way with a total abortion ban, because of a Constitutional test, which he describes as lenient, which remains. It’s called the “rational basis test”.
“There is possibility, for example, if a state did not include an exception to protect the life of the woman, I think there would be a strong argument that that might be irrational in violation of the rational basis inquiry,” he said.
Conkle said Indiana’s legislature, should they choose to act soon, would likely face one big question, and that is how far to go in restricting abortion.
“The issue is basically going to be, assuming the legislature wishes to prohibit or regulate abortion more completely than they do at the moment: what period of gestation should be the line between permitted abortions and impermissible ones?”
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