Indiana becomes first post-Roe state to pass law banning most abortions

The Indiana House of Representatives and Senate approved the GOP-sponsored bill on Friday.

The bill would provide exceptions for when the mother’s life is at risk and for fatal fetal anomalies, up to 20 weeks after fertilization. It would also allow exceptions for some abortions if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.

Indiana currently allows abortions up to 20 weeks after fertilization (or 22 weeks after the mother’s last menstrual period). The new law will take effect on September 15.

The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the federal right to abortion returned the issue to the states, and several Republican leaders have pledged to take action to restrict access to the procedure. West Virginia has also reconvened a special session, although the near-total abortion ban remains in place. in limbo after the Republican-led legislature failed to reach a consensus and adjourned, leaving abortion legal until 20 weeks after fertilization. And in KansasVoters this week handily defeated an effort to amend the state constitution to eliminate abortion rights.

On Thursday, the Indiana House of Representatives rejected Republican-sponsored amendments that would have removed exceptions for rape, incest and fatal fetal anomalies from the bill. Members of the House Republican leadership were divided when Speaker Todd Houston and President Pro Tempore Mike Karickhoff voted against the amendments, while Majority Leader Matt Lehman backed the amendments.

A House amendment that would have placed a non-binding question on the 2022 general election ballot about whether abortion should remain legal in Indiana also failed Thursday.

emotional discussion

Friday’s vote in the state House followed an emotional and sometimes contentious debate during which protesters cheered and booed amid speeches from lawmakers.

Republican House Representative John Jacob of Indianapolis, who supports an outright abortion ban, said on the House floor Friday that he would not support the bill because it “regulates abortion, which is the killing of babies,” and exhorted his colleagues to repent before God. .

Democratic Rep. Renee Pack of Indianapolis then responded to Jacob, speaking of her own abortion in 1990 while serving in the US Army.

“It took me to get to this state chamber for my colleagues to call me a murderer. I had to take that kind of abuse in this room, in this chamber. Sir, I am not a murderer, and neither are my sisters.” Pack said Friday. “We’re pro-choice. That’s who we are. We believe we have control over our own bodies.”

During Friday’s debate, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle lamented how little time they had to consider such a difficult issue.

“We’re all trying, we’re all discerning, none of us are sleeping, none of us are getting it right. We’re walking around with … knots in our stomachs,” said House Rep. Ann Vermilion, R-Marion. . she said she on the floor Friday before the vote, getting emotional.

“Each of us, 150 of us, have wept this week and we are all trying to do the will of the people while being equally true to our faith and core belief,” he said.

Particular attention has been given to Indiana after a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio she crossed state lines to get an abortion in June, after Roe was overturned.

The Indiana doctor who provided abortion services to the 10-year-old said the Indiana abortion bill “will hurt Hoosier women.”

“Medicine is not about exceptions,” Dr. Caitlin Bernard told CNN’s Brianna Keilar on “New Day” on Friday. “I can’t even begin to tell you how many patients I see in very unique situations who can’t fit into those exceptions, who can’t have a list of what I can and can’t do. They can’t wait to see their attorney, I can’t wait to consult with my attorney. I need to be able to see patients when and where they need that care.”

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