by Abdul-Hakim Shabazz
Nearly 20 years ago, when I was a talk show host and political reporter in Springfield, IL. There was a young lady to who I had been attracted for years. We’d see each other at events, but that was about it. One night, however, we were out with friends, and she asked me to walk her back to her car. When we got there, she told me she knew I liked her and she wanted to start dating. You may find this hard to believe, but I was shocked and speechless.
I felt like the dog that had finally caught the car. After years of chasing after something, I finally caught it and had absolutely no idea what to do it.
That’s how Republicans in the Statehouse must feel regarding the abortion issue.
So as you are aware, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last Friday and said there was no constitutional right to an abortion, therefore turning the decisions back to the states. Some states have restricted abortion rights while others are expanding them. So what the heck is going on here in Indiana?
Initially, Governor Eric Holcomb originally called a special session for July 6 to get Hoosiers their second automatic taxpayer refund payment. But then came the SCOTUS decision, which threw everything out of whack, and now the new special session date is July 25. Part of why this is taking so long to do is that Republican lawmakers are all over the place regarding abortion.
There are different degrees of pro-life; some want no abortions under any circumstances, and some want exemptions. So after doing some checking, here’s what I found out where most of the Caucasus is.
First, except for the far, far, far, far right. Most lawmakers want an exemption for the life of the mother. Now a good chunk thinks the doctors should do everything they can to save the unborn child. Secondly are exemptions for rape and incest, which don’t enjoy as much support as an exemption for the life of the mother but still enjoy a lot of support. Some lawmakers do want some kind of police reporting requirement and a time limit to report the crime to have the procedure done.
One of the more complicated issues is penalties. Who do you punish? The mother? The doctor? The Uber or taxi driver who drove her to have the procedure done? It’s doubtful the mother will be sanctioned, nor the Uber driver. The question is, what penalties are there for the medical provider?
There is also a dollar amount to all this, as many lawmakers have said they want to support the mothers and their children. One lawmaker suggested making birth control free. And for those who say the government should not be paying for birth control, look back at our history. In World War II, the U.S. government gave out condoms to servicemen. During the Second World War, the U.S. Army would generally issue each service member with six free condoms a month. They also issued soldiers with a “pro kit” (prophylactic kit), which contained medicated soap, medicinal cream, and a pre-treated cloth that they could use to wash their genitals immediately after sex for extra protection.
As you can see, there are a lot of moving parts to this issue.
We didn’t even get to the issue of federally legal abortion-inducing drugs and some lawmakers who want to make them illegal. And what about the eggs left over from invitro-fertilization?
After 50 years, the pro-life wing of the Indiana Republican Party has finally caught the car.
Now let’s see if they know how to drive.
Abdul-Hakim is an attorney licensed to practice law in Indiana and Illinois. He is also the editor and publisher of Indy Politics.