Indiana’s Republican-controlled state legislature approved a bill banning nearly all abortions, making Indiana the first state to pass new legislation severely limiting access to abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned it Roe v. Wade.
The bill’s passage also comes after Kansas voters rejected attempts to revoke abortion rights in the state, and after the case of a 10-year-old rape survivor in Ohio who sought an abortion after Indiana banned it – drew international attention .
At least 10 states have effectively outlawed abortion following a June 24 Supreme Court ruling. Anti-abortion lawmakers are expected to introduce more restrictions on nearly half of the country in the coming weeks and months.If it is signed into law, Indiana bill Effective September 15.
Anti-abortion lawmakers frequently referenced their Christian faith during debates in the Indiana House of Representatives on Aug. 5, while at least one Republican lawmaker warned that allowing any abortion in the state under any circumstances would face the wrath of God .
“Shame on you, Indiana,” one protester shouted after a 62-38 final vote in the chamber. Outside the door, a group of protesters chanted “what a shame”.
The bill then passed the state Senate by a vote of 28 to 19. It is expected to be signed into law by Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb.
Following the House amendment, the bill prohibits abortion at all stages of pregnancy except in cases of rape or incest, “fatal fetal anomaly” or preventing “permanent damage to the life or physical health of the pregnant woman.”
Survivors of rape or incest can only seek abortion within 10 weeks of pregnancy. According to Indiana statutes, incest does not include sex with a cousin.
“There is no scientific basis for 10 weeks,” Democratic state Sen. Shirley Yoder said in the Senate on Aug. 5. “That number sounds charitable enough for Republicans to get their message across.”
Providers who perform illegal abortions will also have their licenses revoked.
The legislation — passed within two weeks of the start of a special legislative session called by the governor — was not considered by the state legislature’s health committee. Instead, it was sent to a committee reviewing criminal law.
‘We must stop calling ourselves pro-life’
Republican Rep. Ann Vermillion, one of the few Republicans in the state House to back an unsuccessful amendment to allow abortion for up to 13 weeks, voted against the bill, noting her “ideological” shift on the issue over the past few weeks .
“I believe no government should deny access to safe healthcare,” she said in an emotional speech to the House of Representatives. “She should be able to make choices about her life and health during emotional and traumatic times.”
She also condemned the frequent infusions of Christianity and the hours-long debate, and called the GOP’s anti-abortion rhetoric “propaganda.”
“After these two weeks, I am asking our GOP to revisit the word… ‘pro-life’. I think if it just means we have a list of priorities for our lives, we have to stop calling ourselves Live for the pro,” she said.
Republican Rep. John Jacobs was one of three Republican House lawmakers who voted against the bill, arguing it wasn’t strict enough. He called it “a weak, pathetic bill that still allows infanticide”.
“You are inviting God to judge our state and our country,” he said Friday in a speech in the House of Representatives. “Abortion is evil, and it’s barbaric.”
Democratic state Rep. Renee Pack, a U.S. Army veteran, told the chamber that she opted for an abortion when she was deployed at Fort Hood in 1990.
“It was only after I went through this that I got to the State Capitol for my colleagues to call me a murderer,” she said in her address to the House of Representatives. “Sir, I’m not a murderer, and neither are my sisters. …We believe we can control our bodies. That’s who we are.”
Rep. Sue Errington, a Democrat and former director of public policy at Planned Parenthood, said the issue of exceptions “is really not at the heart of the legislation.”
“The heart of the matter is … who decides?” she said. “The heavy hand of the government will make the decision for them. While every woman’s situation is different, [the bill] Say one size fits all. “
She criticized projections of anti-abortion legislation, arguing that capable adults cannot make decisions about their health, cursing Indiana’s “brutal vision of women in our state.”
“You can trust us, we women, to know what we can handle in life,” she said. “This kind of advice that we don’t know what’s best for ourselves demeans us as human beings and reduces women to second-class citizens.”
She told protesters outside the chamber: “I was on your side before. I lived the other day. roe. I don’t want to go back there. The only abortion you can ban is a safe, legal one. “
Abortion care in Indiana has received international attention, highlighting the fragility of care across the Midwest and across the United States.
An Indianapolis-area obstetrician who provided abortion care to a 10-year-old rape survivor is now filing a potential defamation lawsuit against the state’s Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita, who is joining One of the Republican figures who took a media blitz to sabotage her account and made baseless claims that she didn’t follow the law.
That doctor, Dr. Caitlin Bernard, urged lawmakers to reject the bill.
Her employer, Indiana University Health, the state’s largest health system and the state’s only academic medical center, said in a statement The bill would negatively impact its ability to provide “safe and effective patient care” and could “deter physicians seeking to live and practice health care in the state.”
Vice President Kamala Harris also traveled to the state to meet with lawmakers last week.
Indiana currently allows abortions up to 22 weeks into pregnancy, but restrictions include mandatory waiting periods, state-directed counseling and ultrasounds, and a ban on certain health insurance.
The targeted regulation of abortion provider laws, or TRAP laws, also requires providers to have so-called admission privileges at local hospitals and other burdensome regulations at provider offices, such as requiring certain room sizes.
The state is also banning telehealth appointments to obtain medical abortion, the most common form of abortion care, in many cases using prescription drugs that can often be taken from the comfort of a patient’s home. The new bill, if enacted into law, would also ban medical abortion.
approximately 55% All abortions in Indiana in 2020 are medical abortions.