Purdue students rally, promise post-Roe votes, rides to Illinois for abortions
Plus, a roundup on news from the first day with Indiana’s new abortion restrictions.
Thanks to Based in Lafayette sponsors today, including:
The Builders Association of Greater Lafayette, which presents the BAGL Parade of Homes from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17-18. For maps, photos and more details about the 13 homes and five subdivisions in this year’s Parade of Homes, check the links below.
And the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette. The museum is preparing for the return of Art on the Wabash, a juried art fair Sunday, Sept. 25, in West Lafayette’s Tapawingo Park. Check the details below.
PURDUE STUDENTS RALLY AS ABORTION RESTRICTIONS GO INTO EFFECT
As protests popped up across Indiana Thursday, the day new, post-Roe v. Wade abortion restrictions went into effect, about 100 people gathered on the Memorial Mall at Purdue University, offering an afternoon of my-body/my-choice chants, prompts to vote in November and calls to push back, starting now.
“This just isn’t OK,” Ashley Conner, a Purdue junior, said. “I don’t exactly know what to do, but I can’t just do nothing. That’s why I’m out here today.”
The Indiana General Assembly capped a two-week special session in August with Senate Bill 1, which banned nearly all abortions, offering exemptions only in cases that involved rape, incest, the physical health of the mother or for fatal fetal anomalies. Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the measure hours after it cleared the Indiana House and Senate.
Trinity Kunkel, vice president of the Purdue College Democrats, said the rally was meant to give students an outlet “for a lot of anger, a lot of grieving.”
“I can tell you, I woke up today and my heart sank,” Kunkel said. “Up until today, I’ve been pretty angry. Today I woke up with a deep, sad feeling.”
Kunkel said that in recent weeks of distributing petitions on campus – specifically aimed at urging Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington to not prosecute provisions of SB1 (something Harrington deflected last week) – she said reactions among students were a mixed bag.
Kunkel said she came across students who didn’t know the law had been changed in Indiana. Some people said they didn’t care. Others told her they were glad Roe had been overturned. (A cyclist wheeling down a bike lane, past Thursday’s rally, quietly directed similar sentiment to the crowd: “You lost, get over it.”)
“Several people – which struck me the most – said, ‘It doesn’t affect me, I’m not from Indiana,’” Kunkel said. “If you’re on campus, you’re in Indiana. And it affects you. If you become pregnant in Indiana, you care. If you look to get that sort of care in Tippecanoe County, you’re going to care. … People are generally so unaware.”
Ted Hardesty, a Purdue student and a West Lafayette City Council member, told students at the rally that the day wasn’t about anger, it was about registering people vote; it was about helping people with unwanted pregnancies care that was now illegal; it was about “cars to get people to the Illinois line,” where abortion procedures remain legal.
State Rep. Chris Campbell, a Democrat whose district includes Purdue’s campus, pulled from the ‘70s Helen Reddy hit “I Am Woman,” saying November’s election needed to be one in which women made their presence known.
“I was in the room when SB1 passed,” state Rep. Chris Campbell, a Democrat whose district includes Purdue’s campus, said. “I voted no, and I looked up and I saw a lot of green ‘yeses’ up on the board. And I broke down and cried. … We are fighting back. And we’re going to do that at the polls. We are going to be numbers ‘too high to ignore’ for this election.”
Conner said, in the meantime: “I’m ready to drive if someone needs a no-questions-asked ride to Illinois. … It shouldn’t being coming to this.”
What does – and doesn’t – Indiana’s new abortion law restrict? Indiana Capital Chronicle reporter Casey Smith had a solid and succinct outline Thursday. Read it here.
On Thursday, a judge declined a request for a temporary injunction from the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana to block Indiana’s abortion restrictions, even as they went into effect. A hearing on the first of two ACLU lawsuits against the law is scheduled for Monday. Here’s Associated Press reporter Tom Davies’ story on Thursday’s ruling.
Washington Post reporter David Weigel had this headline Thursday, the day Indiana’s abortion law went into effect: “California governor rents billboards in red states to tout abortion access.” Weigel’s report covers Gov. Gavin Newsom’s advertising campaign in six states with abortion bans – including billboards reportedly coming to Indiana – pointing people to a site that explains how to get an abortion in California. “We want women to know that we have their backs,” Newsom told Weigel. Find that story here.
Indianapolis Star reporters Kaitlin Lange and Rachel Fredette used public records requests to get the email that went to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s account ahead of him signing the abortion law in August. They detailed the trends in approximately 700 emailed public comments sent directly to the governor. Spoiler alert: Those against tighter restrictions sent just shy of two-thirds of those emails, according to the IndyStar reporting. For the full story, here’s a link.
Fox 59 reporter Kristen Eskow talked with Attorney General Todd Rokita about enforcement of the new restrictions. Rokita told her it would driven by tips received: “I doubt we’re going to rove around with deputy attorney generals looking in facilities and that kind of thing.” For her full story on her conversation with Rokita, here’s a link.
In a roundup of reactions Thursday by WFYI reporters Darian Benson, Farah Yousry and Katrina Pross, they contacted Indiana Right to Life CEO Mike Fichter, who said that while the anti-abortion group backed the new state law, it was watching how lawsuits played out and would push for an even stricter ban. Here’s the full WFYI report. Indiana Right to Life was among anti-abortion groups and some legislators who proposed, unsuccessfully, for a total ban that didn’t include exemptions for rape, incest and feal anomaly. Fichter also told The Washington Post: “We’ll take the gains we have now but we’re committed to moving forward to ensure all life is protected.” Here’s the Washington Post article.
This and that …
Plenty of chances to get your steps in and feel good about it this weekend …
SUPPORT BY FRIENDS OF MAYOR DENNIS ON ALZHEIMER’S WALK PICKING UP: West Lafayette city staffers, council members and assorted friends of Mayor John Dennis have rallied to the tune of $17,000-plus in donations, as of Thursday, for Saturday’s edition of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s since the mayor revealed that he has early-onset Alzheimer’s. (The overall goal is $120,000.) A few weeks ago, I mentioned that among the entries under the Friends of Mayor John Dennis banner was a chance to win a ride on a West Lafayette fire truck. The latest premium offer: “Ride on a WL Garbage Truck.” Ben Anderson, West Lafayette’s public works director, said the winner picked among the donors will get their choice: Garbage truck or … wait for it … recycling truck. No word whether you’d get to – or have to – toss some cans along the route. For more about the walk, here’s a link with details and how to register or donate. And here’s a story of Mayor John Dennis’ decision to go public with his diagnosis and stay in office through the end of his term in 2023.
HUNGER HIKE, SUNDAY: Activities surrounding the 30th anniversary of the Hunger Hike – an fundraiser for Lafayette Urban Ministry, Food Finders Food Bank and the St. Thomas Aquinas Haiti Ministry – start at 1 p.m. Sunday at Riehle Plaza, Second and Main streets in downtown Lafayette. Before the 1.5K walk, the Hunger Hike features a family-friendly warmup, with a DJ, Zumba, Purdue cheerleaders, ax throwing and face painting. The walk starts at 2 p.m., with a magic show, boat demonstrations by the Purdue Crew team and more. To register or for more information, go to hungerhike.org.
CUPCAKE RUN/WALK: The Public Schools Foundation of Tippecanoe County’s annual Cupcake Run/Walk starts at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at Cumberland Park, 3101 N. Salisbury St. in West Lafayette. The 5K/10K (with an 80-yard dash option) supports the nonprofit’s grants in academics and the arts to teachers in public schools in Tippecanoe County. (What teachers do with those grants can be pretty inspiring.) To register or for more information, here’s the link.
SPEAKING OF TRUCKS: Maybe it’s not a ride in West Lafayette garbage truck, but Imagination Station’s annual Hands On Transportation will offer kids a driver’s seat view of buses, heavy equipment, fire trucks and other vehicles Saturday. Typically the biggest fundraiser of the year for the hands-on science and technology center near downtown Lafayette, Hands on Transportation will be free. (Donations are welcome, just the same, Sujatha Ramani, president of the Imagination Station board, said.) The event will be 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Tecumseh Junior High, 2101 S. 18th St. in Lafayette. For more information, go to www.imagination-station.org.
Thanks, again, to sponsors who helped make today’s Based in Lafayette edition possible, including:
The Builders Association of Greater Lafayette, which presents the BAGL Parade of Homes from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17-18. For maps, photos and more details about the 13 homes and five subdivisions in this year’s Parade of Homes, here’s the link.
The Art Museum of Greater Lafayette, which is prepping for Art on the Wabash, a juried art fair Sunday, Sept. 25. For more, scroll back to the top of the page or check the link here.
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