Local legislators react to Roe v. Wade opinion leak

May 4—GOSHEN — Several local legislators responded Tuesday to the leaked draft opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that suggests the court could be on the verge of overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide.

Included among the legislators responding to the leak was Sen. Blake Doriot, R-District 12, which includes portions of Elkhart and Kosciusko counties.

"I honestly think it's kind of an attack on one of the pillars of our country," Doriot said of the leak. "The Supreme Court, they need to be able to trust their staff. This is something very important. And I've heard that this is totally political, and an attempt to change the discourse in what's going on, etc. But I don't know if it's that deep. I'm jut not sure yet. I've got to see it sorted out.

"But I do think something was leaked, and hopefully the Supreme Court can find out if there was malice involved, and then at that time, they have to decide what to do with it," he added. "I'm not ready to say it was done for total political purposes. Could it have been? Yes. And I'm hoping that we haven't sunk that low to try to destroy one of the institutions of our country."

According to Doriot, should the draft opinion about overturning Roe v. Wade ultimately be passed by the Supreme Court, it would not ban abortion nationwide, but instead allow individual states to set their own abortion policies.

"It would go back to each state's viewpoint, and then each state would draft their legislation," Doriot said. "So, we could have one state where abortion is 100% legal, and we could have one state where it's 100% illegal, and then there will be others that are somewhere in the middle.

"And of course we've heard the argument that people seeking abortions will just drive to the states where it's legal, and that's up to those people," he added. "The way we're set up as a union, it allows states to have their own opinions on certain items, and I think that's the way it was originally set up to be."

Rep. Joanna King, R-District 49, offered a similar sentiment, noting that she feels abortion legislation should have been left up to individual states all along. King's district represents the eastern portion of Elkhart County.

"Well, I think, first of all, this is an issue that should have been up to the states in the first place," King said. "And I think, when I look at Indiana, the policy in the state of Indiana is to promote life, and that is where I'm at. I support life, and I will continue to fight to protect the most vulnerable, and to ensure that Hoosier babies are given a chance at life. That's where it's at for me. Human life must be protected, and I think we're finally going to be able to make that decision as lawmakers in the state of Indiana, and be able to make sure that every child gets their right to live their life."

As for what an overturning of Roe v. Wade would mean for the state of Indiana, Doriot, who is also unabashedly pro-life, said it may be a bit too early to speculate, though he does anticipate the drafting of new legislation further restricting abortion access in the state.

"I do feel that if this is the final ruling of the Supreme Court, there will be legislation drafted in the state of Indiana restricting abortion more," Doriot said. "How much more? I don't know. That's probably not legislation that I'm going to draft, because I'm the roads, bridges, labor and natural resources guy. I try not to get too far out of my realm, even though I do now and then. So, I'm going to leave that for the people that carry that banner openly, and then I will probably sign on to that."

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, R-District 2, also issued a statement Tuesday in response to the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion.

"Overturning Roe v. Wade would be an answer to prayer — but the court must speak for itself without facing intimidation or threats from extreme liberals with a clear agenda," Walorski said. "This leak once again proves that the radical left will stoop to unprecedented lows to extinguish the right to life."

Walorski's district includes all or parts of Elkhart, Fulton, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Marshall, Miami, Pulaski, Starke, St. Joseph and Wabash counties.

John Kline can be reached at john.kline@goshennews.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 240315. Follow John on Twitter @jkline_TGN.