Indiana near-total ban on abortion It will take effect on September 15.
Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Friday night that he had signed Senate Bill 1 an hour after it passed, capping a marathon day in which both chambers passed the bill banning abortion, except for several exceptions. limited.
“After Roe was repealed, I clearly stated that I would be willing to support legislation that would make progress in protecting life,” Holcomb said. “In my view, SEA 1 achieves this goal after its passage in both houses of the Indiana General Assembly. with a solid majority of support.
On Friday night, the Indiana Senate voted 28-19 to accept Senate Bill 1 passed by the House earlier that day, making the legislature the first in the nation to pass such restrictions since the Court The US Supreme opened the door by overturning Roe v. Wade. .
“It makes Indiana one of the most pro-life states in the nation,” said Rep. Wendy McNamara, R-Evansville.
The bill passed the House, 62-38, on Friday afternoon. All 71 House Republicans were divided on the issue, with nine voting against the bill. The party has been divided on the issue, with some feeling the bill goes too far in restricting abortion and others feeling it doesn’t go far enough.
McNamara carried the bill through the House. She said Friday that the goal of the bill was to strengthen protections for women and babies. Most Republicans wanted to see a stronger bill, with no exceptions for rape and incest, but most ultimately settled for what they could pass.
“Ultimately, they are looking at an opportunity to eliminate 99% of abortions in the state of Indiana one way or another,” he said after Friday’s vote.
No Democrats voted for the bill.
As the soft-spoken House chaplain led the chamber in an invocation to open the last day of the special two-week legislative session on Friday, convened to pass financial relief but co-opted to ban abortion after the House’s Dobbs decision Supreme Court in late June, a small but vocal contingent of abortion-rights protesters nearly drowned out their appeal to God with chants of “ban our bodies.”
The crowd of protesters on Capitol Hill had thinned considerably since the abortion debate began last week. About a dozen people with signs watched the proceedings from large windows at the rear of the House chamber and another dozen or so, including several anti-abortion activists, dotted the viewing gallery.
Everyone was probably disappointed in the bill passed Friday, which bans abortion except in cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormalities and when the pregnant person’s life is in danger.
Polls have consistently shown that most Indiana residents support at least some degree of abortion access.
Anti-abortion groups have opposed SB 1 because of the few cases in which it would still allow abortion. Last week, Indiana Right to Life said it “didn’t wait 50 years for the full reversal of Roe vs. Wade for this.”
Thursday night, most republicans in the House tried to remove exceptions to the abortion ban in cases of rape and incest. That effort failed, as it did last week in the Senate.
Rep. John Jacob, R-Indianapolis, is one of the chamber’s most outspoken abortion opponents and supported a failed effort to turn the bill into an outright abortion ban, with no exceptions. On Friday in the room, Jacob said he would vote against SB 1 because “it’s a weak and pathetic bill that still allows babies to be killed.” Jacob lost his Republican primary race in May.
Jacob’s comment outraged at least one of his fellow lawmakers.
Rep. Renee Pack, a Democrat from Indianapolis, told the camera that she had an abortion in 1990 at Fort Hood in central Texas while serving in the military. Pack was married and already the mother of two children. She said that she had to choose between having another child or continuing her military career.
“After everything I’ve been through in my life … it took me to get to the Statehouse for my colleagues to call me a murderer,” Pack said, raising her voice. “Sir, I am not a murderer. And my sisters aren’t killers either. We are in favor of abortion. That is what we are.
“We think we have control over our own bodies.”
It wasn’t just the amendments to make the bill stricter that were defeated. Lawmakers also rejected an amendment that would have allowed abortions for rape or incest up to 20 weeks after fertilization instead of 10, as is currently in the bill. Nine Republicans joined 29 House Democrats in voting for that expansion, one of many illustrations of the divide that has fractured the majority caucus over the past two weeks and made passage of the bill an delicate needle.
The fight for the GOP may have been best described by Rep. Ann Vermilion, R-Marion, who reminded the chamber of her Republican bona fides: limited government, fiscal conservative, lights on Friday nights, church on Sundays, before to admit how the last two weeks have challenged your beliefs.
It’s not uncommon, during lengthy debates, for lawmakers to wander and chat outside the chamber. However, Vermilion’s speech seemed to catch on with his colleagues. Several representatives wiped away tears as they sat in their seats, and some people openly wept backstage.
Repressing her emotions, Vermilion said she has struggled to square her party’s “pro-life” platform and religion – principles so central to her identity – with her own “pro-woman, pro-choice” sentiments. Sentiments, he told her, that three-quarters of his colleagues who are men cannot understand.
“The last two weeks have changed me profoundly,” Vermilion said. “I have moved on my ideology in ways I never imagined.”
He said that despite his strong Christian faith, religious ideology has no place in the legislative process. She said she supports protecting life when a fetus could be viable outside the womb, but she is also a “pro-woman, pro-choice Republican” and cannot support a zero-week abortion ban in the bill. law. She said that she believes there are many Republican women who have the same middle ground.
Democrats have derided the bill as cruel, dangerous and one that will result in a “forced pregnancy.”
“The government shouldn’t be making decisions about women’s health,” said Rep. Robin Shackleford, D-Indianapolis. “The decision to have an abortion is extremely personal, it should be left up to the woman and her doctor.”
In the last week, Indianapolis business community joined a long list of organizations, including every major medical association, that oppose the legislation out of fear of the economic impact such a ban will have on the state. One major event has already said it is “deeply concerned” about the proposal. Gen Con President David Hoppe said Wednesday that if the state passes SB 1, “it will make it more difficult for us to remain committed to Indiana as our long-term annual home.”
Visit Indy said conventions and major trade shows have been reaching out to “clarify what’s going on with the bill and how it’s moving.”
The House made several changes to the bill that began in the Senate, including:
- End the license for abortion clinics, which requires that medical and surgical abortion procedures be performed in hospitals or hospital-owned ambulatory surgery centers.
- Elimination of new criminal sanctions for doctors who perform abortions.
- Reject a provision that gave the attorney general the ability to prosecute abortion and other crimes in counties in which a prosecutor refuses to prosecute. Instead, the House added the creation of a task force to study cases in which prosecutors “generally” refuse to enforce certain laws.
Last week, the Senate passed the bill by a very narrow margin. Several senators said they voted for the bill only to keep it moving forward in the legislative process. They hoped the House would toughen exceptions that would continue to allow abortion.
Arguably, however, the House expanded the exceptions, albeit gradually. The Senate had written an exception for abortion in cases where the pregnant person’s life was in danger. The House amended that to include “permanent impairment” to physical health, as well as the life of the pregnant person. The House also removed language supported by senators to require rape and incest victims to obtain a notarized affidavit stating the reason for their abortion.
The Senate would have given girls 15 and under 12 weeks to obtain an abortion, while allowing only eight weeks for women and girls who are at least 16 years old. The House version allows 10 weeks for all victims of rape and incest.
On Friday night, Sen. Sue Glick, R-LaGrange, said she agreed with those changes and urged her colleagues in the chamber to go along with the House version.
Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, who voted no on the Senate version of the bill because he didn’t think it was strong enough, said the bill returned by the House was worse. He urged his colleagues to vote against the concurrence and continue working on the bill.
Sen. Mike Bohacek, R-Michiana Shores, was one of several senators who changed their vote from last week to this one. When he voted for the bill the first time the Senate considered it, he said he did it to keep it moving, but he was concerned about the impact on people with developmental delays, like his daughter from 21 years.
“If she lost her favorite stuffed animal, she would be heartbroken,” she said on the Senate floor Friday night, through tears. “Imagine making her carry a child.”
Bohacek voted against SB 1.
Several lawmakers voted for the bill despite saying it wasn’t perfect. Sen. Liz Brown, R-Fort Wayne, said she knew some would be disappointed that the bill doesn’t prevent all abortions. Still, Brown said it was a good place to start.
“I know what we’re doing today is just the beginning,” Brown said. “Our actions today will save many lives.”