By BRIAN A. HOWEY, in Nashville, Ind.

1. Indiana's abortion restrictions and SCOTUS

Here are your final power lunch talking points for the week: Vice President Mike Pence's career goals has been to consign Roe v. Wade "to the ash heap of history." Three months before ascending to Donald Trump's national ticket, he signed HEA 1337 saying it would “ensure the dignified final treatment of the unborn and prohibits abortions that are based only on the unborn child’s sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry or disability, including Down syndrome.” This week a wave of abortion restrictions  have passed in Alabama, Missouri and Louisiana, setting up speculation of a U.S. Supreme Court showdown. The Alabama law is seen by conservatives ranging from Rev. Pat Robertson to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy as an overreach. It is the Indiana law that could ultimately challenge Roe v. Wade.

When the 7th Circuit struck the law down, Judge Daniel Manion noted that in the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling, which defined how far states could go in limiting abortion, “the purported right to have a pre-viability abortion is more ironclad even than the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Only a majority of the Supreme Court or a constitutional amendment can permit the States to place some limits on abortion.” Curt Smith of the Indiana Family Institute told WTHR-TV's  Kevin Rader, "The U.S. Supreme Court for many weeks now has been considering taking on Indiana's case that could be the beginning of the end for Roe v. Wade. We know today it was under review for a 14th time. Maybe unprecedented, but certainly quite rare in the history of the Supreme Court. There is some important reason the court continues to keep this case on the front burner." 

Vice President Pence returns to Indiana to give a 10 a.m. Saturday commencement address at Taylor University. The decision to invite Pence sparked controversy on campus, but expect Pence to weigh in on these abortion laws and the historic opportunity at hand.

2. The Alabama law

NBC's  Pete Williams says there is "no guarantee" SCOTUS will review the Alabama law that criminalizes abortion in all cases. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU will challenge and, Williams reports, "Because the lower courts are bound by Supreme Court precedent, judges have no choice but to declare the law unconstitutional. Alabama would then take the law to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, which would also be bound to reach the same conclusion. But the state's right to an automatic appeal ends there. It would have to ask the Supreme Court to take the case, and such a move would face long odds. A second reason Alabama faces a strong headwind is that the law is quite blunt in asking the Supreme Court to overturn 46 years of legal precedent, beginning with Roe in 1973 and reaffirmed repeatedly. But supporters of the state law are hoping that President Donald Trump's newest appointment to the court, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, changed the court's fundamental arithmetic." National Review's  David French: "Two generations of pro-life activism, persuasion, and argument have yielded pro-life super majorities in state houses across much of the South and Midwest, and they recognize the fact that we have reached a moment of legal possibility we may never attain again  — perhaps not for generations. It is possible (maybe not likely, but possible) that the Supreme Court could overrule Roe v. Wade, and these legislatures have chosen to go for broke."

3. Abortion polling

The abortion issue stands to reignite the cultural and political wars  heading into 2020. Americans are truly divided, with Gallup reporting 48% consider themselves pro-life, 48% pro-choice. It was 56/33% pro choice in 1996, and 50/44% in 2015. On the question "Do you think abortions should be legal under any circumstances, legal only under certain circumstances or illegal in all" the tally is 50% in certain circumstances, 29% in all, and 18% illegal in all. A Hill/Harris X survey (May 10-11) found that 21% of registered voters said that such abortion bans are "too lenient" while 34% said they believe they are "just right, and 45% believe the laws are "too restrictive."

4. Trump likes Mayor Pete & Chasten

President Trump told Fox News  that he thinks "it's great" to see South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and husband Chasten together on stage. "I think that's something that perhaps some people will have a problem with," Trump said. "I have no problem with it whatsoever. I think it's good."

5. Lugar staff's last hurrah

Throughout my 40-year journalism career, there was always the Lugar organization, or "Lugar World." Actually, it pre-dated my "pro" status when my dad informed me of a Lugarite, Lou Gehrig, who wasn't in Cooperstown. During this journey of civic stewardship, the staff of Sen. Richard Lugar was always accommodating, friendly, factual and adroit in their understanding of a complex world. The senator was accessible, despite his arduous schedule. The staff would always go the extra mile, to the point where Kenny Myers was prepared to stay with me in Yekaterinburg if my passport hadn't miraculously turned up. The Lugar ethic matriculated into this very publication, with Mark Schoeff Jr. and Cam Carter playing important roles. This past week, in the wake of the senator's passing, I witnessed what was, essentially, the last hurrah of Lugar's splendid staff, though most continue to make important contributions to our society. From Mark Lubbers to Bob and Ellen Whitt, Nick Weber, Andy Fisher, David Willkie and Emily Krueger, I watched these seasoned pros coordinate the final send-off for their beloved mentor, and it renewed in volumes my appreciation for the staffers who help make someone like Dick Lugar a truly great and generational public servant. Please accept, from the depth of my heart, this final tip of the hat. 

Have a great weekend folks. I'm pulling for Marco Andretti to win the pole and take the checkered flag on the 50th anniversary of Mario Andretti's lone Indy500 victory. And, folks, IndyCar racing is the best in the world. It's The Atomic!