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February 4, 2013

HOWEY: Pro-life movement an Indiana political juggernaut

(Continued)

Smith describes the “Reagan Revolution” election of 1980 as a critical period for the pro-life political movement in Indiana. That was the era when the Protestant-based Citizens for Life merged with the Catholic-based Right to Life, with the Indiana Family Institute brokering the merger. “To me, the difference was the Catholics and the evangelicals started finding common interests,” Smith said.

In this session of the Indiana General Assembly there are at least nine bills dealing with abortion, ranging from banning abortions based on race, sex or physical soundness of a fetus, requiring information packets featuring photographs of fetuses in various developmental stages, to be presented to those seeking the procedure, and stopping IU Health from providing abortions.

Indiana University law professor Dawn Johnsen told Indiana Public Media the bills are “hacking away at the availability of abortion services.”

The Indiana Family Institute’s Smith acknowledges and embraces the tactic. “I think we’re pushing the envelope here,” he said. “The courts have constricted the last step. Clearly technology is showing us there’s life in the womb. There’s a capacity to see the baby, the fetus, in great detail. It’s alive, it’s smiling, its heart is beating. We are doing surgeries on babies in the womb. And we are aborting babies in the womb.”

“I’m very proud of our legislators,” Smith said. “They are testing the limits.”

— The columnist publishes at www.howeypolitics.com. Find him on Twitter @hwypol

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