INDIANAPOLIS — As college students head back to Central Indiana, some say they plan to protest the state's recent passage of a bill that will restrict access to abortion.
Brinley Royer and Noah Thomas, IUPUI students, say they're coming to Indianapolis for more than an education. They have plans to hold a Reproductive Freedom Rally at Military Park from 4:30-7 p.m. Aug. 26.
During their summer break, the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade.
"I was at work when I heard about it and I just started crying," Royer said. "My boss asked what's wrong and I said Roe v. Wade just got overturned. She started to cry as well because a right she had all of her life was now gone."
Royer says her tears foreshadowed what she knew would happen in Indiana. The Indiana Legislature passed a ban on abortion with limited exceptions, Senate Bill 1. Governor Eric Holcomb signed it into law. On September 15, the law goes into effect. Those seeking abortions will only be able to get one if they're a victim of rape, incest, or their life is in danger if the pregnancy were to continue.
The fallout from this abortion ban is becoming clearer. College students have taken notice and are changing their plans for the future.
"I think about it every day. I think about moving to a state where women's healthcare is more accessible," Royer said.
Numbers from a BestColleges.com survey show the following:
- 57% of current and prospective college students polled say they want to attend school in a state that legally protects the right to abortion.
- 59% say they oppose Roe v. Wade being overturned.
- 69% say they support a woman's right to choose an abortion.
"We're not going to stop fighting until our lawmakers hear that a majority of Hoosiers don't want an abortion ban," Thomas said.
In his second year at IUPUI, Thomas was the driving force behind the rally at Military Park. Back in July, he helped put together another rally in northwest Indiana. He's doing all this because he says he's heard from his peers about how the abortion ban could impact them.
"I have had a couple of talks with women in my life who say they're terrified. They're terrified that if they were to get pregnant, they'd have no means to getting to Illinois," Thomas said.
Royer and Thomas both say they will keep using their voices to push for change.
"We will not back down. We will not stand down and we will keep fighting," Thomas said.
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