November 30, 2021
For immediate release
Roe V. Wade Is Out Of Step With Science: Time To Let Indiana Decide
Indianapolis – Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter issued this statement in advance of the Supreme Court hearing oral arguments tomorrow in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:
“The Supreme Court has its most significant opportunity since 1973 to end the faulty and unscientific framework of Roe v. Wade. The Roe decision undercut the right of Indiana to determine its own abortion laws while relying on a viability standard completely out of step with today’s science. When Roe was decided, viability, the ability of an unborn baby to survive outside of the womb, was thought to be 24-26 weeks gestation. Today, viability is seen as occurring between 21-22 weeks gestation. As medical technology advances, viability is a recognition of the current status of our medical technology and not of the development of the child herself. We know far more about the humanity of children in the womb in 2021 compared to 1973.
Mississippi, just like Indiana, should have the right to determine its own laws when it comes to protecting children in the womb and empowering women with abortion alternatives, support, and protection from coercion. Roe is outdated and unworkable. It’s time to let Indiana decide.”
The question before the High Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is whether all prohibitions on abortions performed pre-viability are unconstitutional.
The Mississippi law under challenge, called the “Gestational Age Act”, protects babies after 15-weeks gestation. By this time a baby’s heart has been beating for over two months. Other milestones in the womb prior to 15-weeks include:
-At eight weeks of gestation, brain waves can be detected.
-At nine weeks, the baby is kicking and swimming.
-At week ten, every organ is in place and the baby can begin to hear.
-At weeks eleven and twelve, teeth begin to form, fingernails develop.
-At week 13, the baby can grasp objects placed in her hand.
The Roe framework has been used repeatedly by federal judges to block laws passed by the Indiana legislature, including a 2019 law, signed into effect by Gov. Eric Holcomb, banning dismemberment (D&E) abortions, and the 2016 Dignity for the Unborn Act ,signed into effect by Gov. Mike Pence, banning abortions based solely on Down syndrome, gender, race, potential disability, and national origin of the mother.