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Indiana becomes first state to approve abortion ban post Roe


Abortion-rights protesters chant during a session of the Indiana state Senate on the Capitol on July 25, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The legislature considered curtailing abortion rights within the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.

Jon Cherry | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Indiana on Friday became the primary state within the nation to approve abortion restrictions for the reason that U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, because the Republican governor quickly signed a near-total ban on the procedure shortly after lawmakers approved it.

The ban, which takes effect Sept. 15, includes some exceptions. Abortions can be permitted in cases of rape and incest, before 10-weeks post-fertilization; to guard the life and physical health of the mother; and if a fetus is diagnosed with a lethal anomaly. Victims of rape and incest wouldn’t be required to sign a notarized affidavit attesting to an attack, as had once been proposed.

Under the bill, abortions might be performed only in hospitals or outpatient centers owned by hospitals, meaning all abortion clinics would lose their licenses. A health care provider who performs an illegal abortion or fails to file required reports must also lose their medical license — wording that tightens current Indiana law that claims a physician “may” lose their license.

“I’m personally most pleased with each Hoosier who got here forward to courageously share their views in a debate that’s unlikely to stop any time soon,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said within the statement announcing that he had signed the measure. “Personally as your governor, I’ll proceed to maintain an open ear.”

His approval got here after the Senate approved the ban 28-19 and the House advanced it 62-38.

Indiana was among the many earliest Republican-run state legislatures to debate tighter abortion laws after the Supreme Court ruling in June that removed constitutional protections for the procedure. However it is the primary state to pass a ban through each chambers, after West Virginia lawmakers on July 29 passed up the prospect to be that state.

“Completely satisfied to be accomplished with this, one among the tougher things that we have ever done as a state General Assembly, not less than definitely while I have been here,” Senate President Pro-Tem Rodric Bray told reporters after the vote. ” I feel this can be a huge opportunity, and we’ll construct on that as we go forward from here.”

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Sen. Sue Glick of LaGrange, who sponsored the bill, said that she doesn’t think “all states will come down at the identical place” but that the majority Indiana residents support facets of the bill.

Some senators in each parties lamented the bill’s provisions and the impact it might have on the state, including low-income women and the health care system. Eight Republicans joined all 11 Democrats in voting against the bill, though their reasons to thwart the measure were mixed.

“We’re backsliding on democracy,” said Democratic Sen. Jean Breaux of Indianapolis, who wore a green ribbon Friday signifying support for abortion rights, on her lapel. “What other freedoms, what other liberties are on the chopping block, waiting to be stripped away?”

Republican Sen. Mike Bohacek of Michiana Shores spoke about his 21-year-old-daughter, who has Down syndrome. Bohacek voted against the bill, saying it doesn’t have adequate protections for girls with disabilities who’re raped.

“If she lost her favorite stuffed animal, she’d be inconsolable. Imagine making her carry a toddler to term,” he said before he began to choke up, then threw his notes on his seat and exited the chamber.

Republican Sen. Mike Young of Indianapolis, nonetheless, said the bill’s enforcement provisions against doctors are usually not stringent enough.

Such debates demonstrated Indiana residents’ own divisions on the difficulty, displayed in hours of testimony lawmakers heard over the past two weeks. Residents rarely, if ever, expressed support for the the laws of their testimony, as abortion-rights supporters said the bill goes too far while anti-abortion activists expressed it doesn’t go far enough.

The debates got here amid an evolving landscape of abortion politics across the country as Republicans face some party divisions and Democrats see a possible election-year boost.

Republican Rep. Wendy McNamara of Evansville, who sponsored the House bill, told reporters after the House vote that the laws “makes Indiana one of the vital pro-life states within the nation.”

Outside the chambers, abortion-rights activists often chanted over lawmakers’ remarks, carrying signs like “Roe roe roe your vote” and “Construct this wall” between church and state. Some House Democrats wore blazers over pink “Bans Off Our Bodies” T-shirts.

Indiana’s ban followed the political firestorm over a 10-year-old rape victim who traveled to the state from neighboring Ohio to finish her pregnancy. The case gained attention when an Indianapolis doctor said the kid got here to Indiana due to Ohio’s “fetal heartbeat” ban.

Religion was a persistent theme during legislative debates, each in residents’ testimony and lawmakers’ comments.

In advocating against the House bill, Rep. Ann Vermilion condemned fellow Republicans who’ve called women “murderers” for getting an abortion.

“I feel that the Lord’s promise is for grace and kindness,” she said. “He wouldn’t be jumping to sentence these women.”

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