Health workers urge governor to opt against special legislative session on abortion | National News

A coalition of physicians, nurses and other health care providers is urging Gov. Eric Holcomb to refrain from calling a special legislative session if the US Supreme Court authorizes states to further restrict or ban abortion.

On Thursday, petitions signed by some 400 Hoosier health care workers and medical students were delivered to Holcomb, imploring the Republican chief executive to take no immediate action should the nation’s high court partially or fully repeal its Roe v. Wade previous later this month.

Dr. Tracey Wilkinson, a pediatrics specialist at Indiana University Health, warned that giving the Republican-controlled General Assembly the opportunity to impose new state restrictions on reproductive autonomy will lead to higher rates of maternal and infant mortality.

“Indiana is already one of the most dangerous states to be pregnant,” Wilkinson said. “If Indiana lawmakers are serious about wanting to reduce infant and maternal mortality, they should start by increasing, not restricting, access to health care and support Hoosiers’ right to bodily autonomy.”

Rayanne Pancoast, a fourth-year medical student in Indianapolis, said additional restrictions on abortion access will drive future providers from the state, worsening an already dire physician shortage.

“When we graduate from medical school it will be hard to stay in Indiana where politicians continue to interfere with and criminalize the doctor/patient relationship. Such policies are not evidence-based. We want to help patients make the decisions that are right for them ,” Pancoast said.

Holcomb so far has refused to say whether he’ll call the General Assembly into special session this summer to address abortion access following the Supreme Court decision — as requested in March by 100 Republican state legislators.

“We have a responsibility to Hoosiers to ensure that our state laws are aligned with the Supreme Court’s decision if Roe v. Wade is wholly, or partially overturned,” the lawmakers said.

“As a state that recognizes that life is a precious gift that should never be neglected, it is our desire that you, as the governor of Indiana, ensure that those values ​​are upheld without delay.”

A draft ruling in a Mississippi abortion case that was leaked in May suggests the Supreme Court is preparing to rescind the right to abortion, setting the stage for each of the 50 states to set its own policy concerning abortion access.

Holcomb has said he’s waiting for the final Supreme Court ruling before deciding whether to convene a special legislative session on abortion.


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