Advocates on both sides of the abortion debate say the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t appear any closer to overturning Roe v. Wade after its decision in an Indiana case Tuesday.
The nation’s high court left in place an appellate ruling that struck down part of a 2016 Indiana law that banned abortions performed because of a fetus’s characteristics, such as gender or disability.
ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk says the lawsuit had been viewed as an opportunity for the Supreme Court to revisit the legalization of abortion.
“In a less radical way than, for instance, a statute that says you can’t get an abortion after six weeks," Falk says. "But the Court chose not to do so.”
Several states have passed the kinds of laws Falk mentions in recent weeks. And many anti-abortion activists hope those laws will prompt the Court to roll back abortion rights.
But one of those activists, American Family Association of Indiana executive director Micah Clark, doesn’t share that hope.
“I think that those who think that Roe v. Wade is going to be struck down in the next couple of years are probably overly optimistic,” Clark says.
Clark does take hope from another part of Tuesday’s ruling, which upheld part of the Indiana law that requires fetal remains to be buried or cremated. He says that provision “humanizes” the fetus and “pushes the envelope” for abortion restrictions.