Indiana passes near-total abortion ban, first after Roe

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Indiana became the first state in the country after the fall of Roe vs. Wade to pass sweeping limits on access to abortion, after Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed a bill into law on Friday that constitutes a near-total ban on the procedure.

The Republican-dominated state Senate approved the legislation 28-19 on Friday in a vote that came just hours after it was passed by the Indiana House. The bill, which will go into effect on September 15, only allows abortion in cases of rape, incest, lethal fetal abnormality or when the procedure is necessary to prevent serious health risks or death.

Abortion rights supporters thronged the halls of the Indiana House of Representatives throughout the day as lawmakers cast their votes, some holding signs reading “You can only ban safe abortions” and “Abortion is health care.” .

In a statement released shortly after signing the bill, Holcomb said he had “clearly stated” after the fall of Roe that he would be willing to support anti-abortion legislation. He also highlighted “carefully negotiated” exceptions in the law, which he said address “some of the unthinkable circumstances that a woman or unborn child might face.”

Before settling on the exceptions, Republican lawmakers disagreed on how far the law should go, with some members of the Republican Party side with the Democrats in demanding that abortion be legal in cases of rape and incest.

Abortion rights organizations were quick to rebuke the law. Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said the vote “was cruel and will prove devastating to pregnant people and their families in Indiana and throughout the region.”

“Indianans didn’t want this,” Johnson said.

In a statement, the anti-abortion group Indiana Right to Life opposed the exceptions, saying the new law did not go far enough to reduce access to abortion.

Kansans Strongly Reject Amendment Aimed To Restrict Abortion Right

Indiana Republicans’ push to restrict abortion access contrasts with overwhelming voter support in Kansas, where an attempt to remove abortion protections was defeated this week in another traditionally conservative state. That victory is likely to boost the Democratic Party’s hope that the Supreme Court decision shoot down Roe vs. Wade It will energize voters ahead of the midterm elections and give Republicans a reason to consider the possible consequences should they seek tougher abortion regulations.

Unlike many of its neighboring predominantly conservative states in the Midwest, Indiana did not have a “trigger law” on the books that would immediately ban abortion when Roe was annulled. Because the procedure had been legal in the state up to 22 weeks, Indiana became the destination for many people seeking to terminate their pregnancies.

Cutting off this “critical access point” can force people to travel “hundreds of miles or carry pregnancies against their will,” the American Civil Liberties Union said.

Most recently, a 10-year-old girl was raped had to travel to Indianapolis for an abortion after being denied one in her home state of Ohio. The case It sparked outrage among abortion rights advocates, was criticized by President Biden, and drew international attention.

The OB/GYN who provided the care, Dr. Caitlin Bernard, has faced threats and harassment. Her legal team is seeking to file a defamation lawsuit against the Indiana attorney general, whose office she is located in. investigate how the abortion case was handled.

Kim Bellware contributed to this report.

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