Retiring Indiana Supreme Court Justice Boehm was key in abortion rulings on taxpayer funding, waiting period

June 2, 2010

Indiana Right to Life today is reacting to the announced retirement of Indiana Supreme Court Justice Theodore Boehm with optimism that Boehm’s replacement will not agree with Boehm’s views that the Indiana Constitution embraces the right to abortion on demand as well as the right to have abortions paid for by taxpayer funds.

In his time on the Indiana Supreme Court, Boehm earned the reputation of being an activist judge on the issue of abortion through two key abortion-related rulings.

In 2003, Boehm concurred with an opinion that expanded taxpayer funding for abortions through Medicaid in Indiana, stating, “denial of benefits to indigent women for medically necessary abortions is a violation of their state constitution.” Humphreys v. Clinic for Women, 796 N.E.2d 247, 795 (Ind. 2003).

In 2005, Boehm dissented against an opinion upholding Indiana’s 18-hour waiting period before an abortion could be done, stating, “Article I, section 1 of the Indiana Bill of Rights includes the right of a woman to choose for herself whether to terminate her pregnancy.” Clinic for Women v. Brizzi, 837 N.E.2d 973, 994 (Ind. 2005).

“We believe that Justice Boehm’s judicial philosophy on abortion is deeply flawed in its interpretation of the state constitution in relation to the rights of unborn children,” states President and CEO Mike Fichter. “Indiana’s founders did not intend a state constitution that protected a supposed right to taxpayer-funded abortions.”

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