Expert discusses effect abortion legislation could have on Indiana's November election

A pro abortion-rights protester waves a sign outside Senate chambers as lawmakers debate abortion access
Posted at 11:02 PM, Jul 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-30 23:02:14-04

INDIANAPOLIS — As lawmakers debated increasing abortion restrictions this week, some GOP senators questioned how their votes would affect the polls in November.

"I love Jesus more than I love being in the Senate," Sen. Mike Gaskill, R-Pendleton said, as he acknowledged that he would vote to remove rape and incest exemptions from the Indiana bill.

Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis introduced the amendment that would have stripped rape and incest exemptions. That amendment didn't pass.

Young acknowledged that his actions could cost him politically in the future.

"I know I'm going to be judged, and I'll be judged in an election," he said.

Dr. Aaron Dusso teaches politics at IUPUI. He said most issues that come up over the summer are no longer a factor by the time November rolls around.

"We're still months away. Typically, the life span for any issue in the United States is not very long," Dusso said.

But Dusso believes that abortion could be the exception.

"If this issue doesn't break through to November, then there is no such thing. There is no issue that ever will," he said.

Dusso doesn't think the GOP should worry about this coming election.

"It's unlikely that you're going to see a Democratic breakthrough, but that doesn't mean it can't ever happen. And it may not happen this November, but over time things can change," Dusso said. "You need to work on an individual level, a grassroots level, and you've gotta build, and build, and build. That's hard to do. That's real politics, but it's hard to do."

With such a long road ahead, disillusionment can be a real danger to any movement.

On Tuesday, seventeen-year-old Isabella Zollner testified in front of the Senate committee debating abortion.

"I know that no matter what I say in my testimony today, it isn't going to change the minds of those of you who are determined to strip my human rights away," she said.

Despite feeling it would make no difference, Zollner drove all the way from West Lafayette anyway, just to make her voice heard.

"This issue breaks through. It breaks through political affiliations, it breaks through their malaise and disinterest. If there was ever an issue that will break through, this is it," Dusso said.