Indiana Governor Signs Almost Total Abortion Ban –

ban abortion photo

Hundreds of Hoosiers stand outside the Indiana House during an X-hour debate on a restrictive abortion ban. Photo by Whitney Downard/Indiana Capital Chronicle.

Casey Smith
Indiana Capital Chronicle

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana’s governor signed into law Friday afternoon a Republican-backed bill which will ban virtually all abortions in the state, making it the first to enact abortion restriction legislation since the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v.

The ban will go into effect on September 15, when Indiana will have one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.

Senators accepted the House amendment version of the invoice in a 28-19 tie-breaker vote Friday evening after more than three hours of debate.

The vote marked the closure of a extraordinary legislative session which experienced almost two weeks of long days and heated debate in both chambers of the General Assembly.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the bill into law less than an hour after the General Assembly adjourned.

“After Roe was overturned, I made it clear that I would be willing to support legislation that advanced the protection of life. In my view, SEA 1 achieves that goal after its passage in both houses of the General Assembly of Indiana with a solid majority of support,” Holcomb said in a statement.

“These actions came after long days of hearings filled with personal and critical testimony from citizens and elected representatives on this emotional and complex issue,” he continued. “Ultimately, these voices shaped and informed the final content of the legislation and its carefully negotiated exceptions to address some of the unthinkable circumstances a woman or unborn child could face.”

In a statement after the vote, Indiana Right to Life President Mike Fichter encouraged Holcomb to sign the bill, even as the group pushed for a stricter ban.

“While we cannot fully approve SB 1 as amended due to its rape, incest, and lethal fetal abnormality exceptions, we do recognize that the way forward is to embrace the potential to now end the vast majority of abortions in Indiana or allow all abortions to continue under current law, making Indiana an abortion destination state and further increasing the number of abortions,” Fichter said in a statement.

Katie Blair, director of advocacy and public policy for the ACLU of Indiana, meanwhile, called the bill’s passage “a dark day for the state of Indiana.”

“The General Assembly has passed a ban on abortion, turning back the clock 50 years on the fundamental right of Hoosiers to control their own bodies,” Blair said in a statement. “SB 1 will force women to travel hundreds of miles or carry pregnancies against their will, with life-altering consequences and serious health risks. This is an unacceptable attack on our freedom.

Democrats, some Republicans, opposed the bill

Senators gave the bill the green light later barely advancing the measure in an earlier vote in the chamber last week.

Ten Republican senators voted against the initial Senate bill, saying the House should move it closer to an outright ban. Instead, the House removed some language the Senate had inserted and expanded some of the exceptions that allowed abortion.

That included Sen. Mike Bohacek, R-Michiana Shores, who spoke about his 21-year-old daughter who has Down syndrome. He pointed to a flaw in the bill’s exceptions, which he said leave out disabled or wards.

“If he lost his favorite stuffed animal, he would be inconsolable … imagine carrying his child to term,” she said through tears before stopping and excusing herself from the chamber.

Earlier, House lawmakers spent more than four hours Friday debating the abortion bill before voting 62-38 to send it back to the Senate floor.

Rep. Chris Campbell, D-West Lafayette, said the proposed ban is “an instrument of pain and trauma.”

“The rights of Hoosiers are being crushed by this ban,” he said. “Women will be forced to give birth.”

Rep. Ann Vermillion, R-Marion, one of nine GOP caucus members who joined Democrats in voting against the bill, said a fetus’s life should be protected once it reaches feasibility, but that women should have a choice in the early stages of the project. pregnancy

He cited too few exceptions for rape and incest, and expressed concern that Indiana will lose doctors as the abortion ban goes into effect.

“I believe that no government should take away a woman’s right to safe medical care during an unplanned and unwanted pregnancy,” said Vermillion, a former hospital administrator who now runs a health consulting business. “I believe that the Lord’s promise is one of grace and goodness. I don’t think the Lord has a list of priorities in life.”

What the ban on abortion entails

The new law prohibits all abortions except in the case of a fatal fetal anomaly and cases of serious risk to the mother’s health, up to 20 weeks after fertilization. Rape incest survivors may miscarry up to 10 weeks after fertilization.

Although the Senate narrowly voted in favor of a notarized affidavit to compel rape or incest victims to access an abortion, a House committee eliminated that requirement. They also ruled out a provision in the bill that would allow the state attorney general to take over the prosecution of abortion-related cases if a local prosecutor refuses.

“This bill reflects an understanding that it is one of the most difficult and challenging issues of our lifetime. This bill restores faith in humanity and faith that human life has value,” said Rep. Wendy McNamara on Friday , R-Evansville, sponsored the project. “I think we’ve landed on a great place and good policy for the state of Indiana.”

By law, surgical abortions can only be performed in hospitals or hospital-owned freestanding ambulatory surgical centers. Several Democrats noted that access will be a problem even if a woman meets an exception.

Current Indiana law makes it illegal for a doctor to perform an abortion, and under the newly passed legislation, most abortions will be illegal. There are no criminal penalties for women seeking abortions.

The final language of the ban explicitly states that it does not apply to in vitro fertilization, miscarriages, or ectopic pregnancies. The ban will also not limit access to the morning-after pill or any form of contraception.

The Republicans who voted against the abortion ban in the House, along with all the Democrats.

Rep. Ed Clere, New Albany Rep. Sean Eberhart, Shelbyville Rep. Matt Hostettler, Patoka Rep. John Jacob, Indianapolis Rep. Cindy Ledbetter, Boonville Rep. Curt Nisly, Milford Rep. Tom Saunders, the Lewisville Rep. Ann Vermilion, Marion Rep. Cindy Ziemke, Batesville
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