Indiana Gets OK On Abortion Law

Published 4:39 am Friday, March 14, 2003

By Staff
It appears to us that the anti-abortion forces in the United States have won a major victory. The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way a few days ago for an Indiana state law which places some of the nation's most severe restrictions on abortion. The court approved that portion of the law which requires that a woman be counseled face to face about the risks and she is to be offered pictures showing her what the fetus looked like.
As expected, the abortion clinics in Indiana fought the law vigorously. In the arguments taking place over the years since the law was enacted eight years ago, it was pointed out that counseling face to face would force some women to forego needed abortions, thus endangering the female's health.
Kate Michelman, president of the pro-choice group, gave a rather bitter retort to the decision upholding the state law. She is quoted as saying, "This is an outrageous law and leaves many women without access to abortions or certainly places a heavy burden on a woman's right to choose."
Then Mike Fichter, executive director of the Indiana Right to Life group said, "For the first time abortion providers in Indiana will be required to give the woman information about the risks. We're glad that the court battles look like they are finally over."
Now immediately when news was carried over the country, many groups wanted to know how their state or how some state law stood after the high court decision."
We must suppose that both abortion and anti-abortion groups in every state of this union will want to know how it affects the law of their state. We do not know what agencies in North Carolina are doing now, but we expect they are busy asking questions and seeking answers.
If we stop for a moment and think of what state abortion laws, one way or the other, have caused over these 50 states, we then begin to realize what a huge decision this one just handed down really is.
The action of the U.S. Supreme Court means that Indiana immediately might begin fully enforcing a law passed eight years ago. Apparently, this law made its way through lower courts and finally reached the high court. One feature of the law requires that after counseling, the women still must wait 18 hours before an abortion can be performed.
What does this law do to abortion clinics? In the state of Indiana, it must be a decision that has interested persons talking to themselves. The Indiana law requires women seeking abortions in that state to make two separate visits to the abortion clinic. On the other side it is argued that this places a distinct hardship on poor women.
The impact of this decision will be felt all over. While we do not know what the future holds here in America, we suspect that there will be some severe in-fighting in the days ahead.