For Immediate Release: September 23, 2022
Contact: Virginia Lucy,

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Yesterday, an Indiana judge temporarily blocked enforcement of the state’s near-total abortion ban. Indiana abortion providers filed a lawsuit last month in an effort to block the law permanently. A week after the law went into effect, Owen County Judge Kelsey Hanlon granted a preliminary injunction to suspend the abortion ban while the lawsuit works its way through the court. 

Indiana became the first state to enact new restrictions on abortion in a special session following the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade. In August, members of the Indiana Chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) testified before the state legislature in opposition to S.B. 1. In response to the most recent court decision, NAPAWF members underscore the devastating impact the state’s abortion ban will have on Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities: 

NAPAWF Indiana Co-Chair, Michelle Waugh Dahl, issued the following statement:

“It is criminal and inhumane to deny Hoosiers access to health care and SB 1 served to cause further harm to marginalized and under-resourced folks under an already heavily burdened system. The path to abortion is an arduous one for the AAPI community, filled with language barriers, cultural stigmas, and low rates of insurance coverage for our most vulnerable members. We are encouraged by this temporary block to Indiana’s abortion ban and will continue to fight to ensure access to abortion care for all Hoosiers.”

NAPAWF Indiana Co-Chair, Melissa Borja, issued the following statement:

“If we truly value religious freedom as an American right, then we must apply it to everybody, not just those who oppose abortion based on their religious beliefs. Indiana’s abortion ban unfairly prioritizes the rights of the conservative Christians who oppose abortion over the rights of anyone whose religious beliefs allow abortion. The religious freedom dimension of the abortion debate is particularly important to Asian Americans because Asian Americans are the most religiously diverse racial group in America. It is partly because of this religious diversity that seven in ten Asian Americans support abortion access.”

NAPAWF Indiana Founding Member and Past Co-Chair, Shruti Rana, issued the following statement: 

“AAPI women face an increased risk of criminalization for their pregnancy outcomes because of racial profiling rooted in anti-immigrant sentiments and false claims that AAPI women end pregnancies because they prefer sons over daughters. Indiana unfortunately has a long history of targeting AAPI women for reproductive coercion. Years before the Dobbs decision and SB 1, the state prosecuted immigrant and AAPI women for pregnancy losses, and the state also just implemented a sex-selection ban permeated with factually inaccurate stereotypes of Asian women. Indiana has been a hotspot for anti-Asian hate during the Covid-19 pandemic and was the site of the horrific FedEx shootings last year where Asian Americans and immigrants were targeted and killed. The devastating impact of these events is magnified by Indiana’s attempts to criminalize pregnancy with racist stereotyping, xenophobia, and rejection of evidence and science. The court’s injunction against Indiana’s abortion ban is a critical step towards returning women and pregnant people in Indiana to the equal citizenship they are entitled to under the law.”

NAPAWF Indiana Past Co-Chair, Melanie Castillo-Cullather, issue the following statement: 

“Today is an important day for the AAPI community in Indiana. Since the Dobbs decision overturning our constitutional right to abortion, states like Indiana have moved quickly to ban, restrict, and criminalize abortion access. They have done so with little regard for, and at the expense of people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, individuals with low incomes, and immigrants. The temporary block to Indiana’s abortion ban will reinstate critical health care services to Hoosiers across the state.”

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The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build collective power so that all AAPI women and girls can have full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities.