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SJC Department of Health addresses state lawmakers following Roe overturn

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Lauren Chapman
/
IPB News
The Indiana Statehouse.

The St. Joseph County Department of Health is calling on state lawmakers to support access to affordable healthcare — including family planning and prenatal care — in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade.

“As a public health department, part of our role is to inform and educate our community on how policy decisions impact public health,” a statement from the department reads. “We also encouraged their support for other public health interventions… which determine the overall health of women of reproductive age and can decrease the need for abortion.

Lawmakers are expected to ban abortion in Indiana during a special session next month, but it’s not clear what exceptions they might allow to that ban.

County Health Officer Dr. Bob Einterz said the ban will likely impact maternal mortality in the state.

“If there are more women who are carrying their pregnancy to term, then clearly, the number of women dying is going to increase,” he said. “S we, as a health department, are very concerned about this and we need to begin to identify and to help the elected officials understand how this decision will impact maternal mortality.”

In the statement, the health department said it “believes that women, their partners and families, and medical professionals must maintain the authority to make the judgment surrounding the need for termination of a pregnancy under exceptional circumstances to protect the lives of women.”

“We’re very much concerned about justice and fairness as it comes to any health condition,” Einterz said. “Reproductive health is no different.”

The legislature’s special session will begin Thursday, July 25.

Contact Gemma at gdicarlo@wvpe.org or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo.

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Gemma DiCarlo comes to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.