The debate surrounding abortion really boils down to one question: at what point is a fetus considered a human life with the "inalienable rights" of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"? As a Christian, I, personally, was raised to believe that God knew us before we were even born, so my answer is "at conception." I am proud that Indiana recently passed legislation that made it a double-homicide when someone murders a pregnant mother (thus recognizing a "fetus" as a human life worth protecting).
However, the landmark case of Roe v. Wade made abortions legal across this country and gave women the right to choose. In Indiana, we took this decision in stride, and set our sights on helping as many women as possible choose life. Our focus has shifted to sex education and pregnancy prevention, and our state legislators have ensured that women seeking an abortion are well-informed about all other options available to them, such as adoption. Our informed consent brochure shows a fetus at various stages of a pregnancy and explains the risks and complications that sometimes come with an abortion procedure. Finally, abortion providers in Indiana are required to offer the mother the opportunity to view an ultrasound and listen to the child's heartbeat, if possible. As a result, Indiana's abortion rate has dropped for eight consecutive years, down to 7,277 in 2016 compared to 16,505 in 1980.
Statistics show that abortion rates in countries where abortions are illegal are relatively the same as in countries where they are legal, indicating that banning the procedure does very little to prevent women from seeking it. Additionally, the mortality rate of mothers receiving abortions in countries where it is illegal is significantly higher, and I do believe this is something that we need to address.
Indiana acknowledges the pro-choice ruling of the United States Supreme Court, but remains committed to leading the way in the effort to fight for the rights of the unborn by empowering women to choose life. So will I.