The Indiana state legislature has become the first in the United States to pass new legislation restricting access to abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade.
The bill then goes to the state’s Republican Governor, Eric Holcomb, who has not indicated whether he will sign it.
Indiana was among the first Republican-led state legislatures to debate tougher abortion laws after the Supreme Court’s June ruling that removed constitutional protections. It is the first state to pass a ban through both chambers.
The Indiana Senate approved the near-total ban 28-19, hours after House members advanced it 62-38. It includes limited exceptions, including in cases of rape and incest, and to protect the life and physical health of the mother. The exceptions for rape and incest are limited to 10 weeks after fertilization, which means victims could not have an abortion in Indiana after that. Victims would not be required to sign a notarized affidavit attesting to an attack.
Outside the bedroom of the house, abortion rights activists often chanted lawmakers’ remarks, carrying signs such as “Roe roe roe your vote” and “Build this wall” between the church and the ‘State. Some House Democrats wore blazers over pink “Bans Off Our Bodies” T-shirts.
Indiana lawmakers have listened to testimony over the past two weeks in which residents on all sides of the issue have rarely, if ever, supported the legislation. Abortion-rights supporters said the bill went too far, while anti-abortion activists said it didn’t go far enough.
In arguing against the bill, Rep. Ann Vermilion condemned fellow Republicans for calling women who got abortions “murderers.”
“I think the Lord’s promise is for grace and goodness,” she said. “He wouldn’t jump to convict these women.”
The chamber rejected, largely along party lines, a Democratic proposal to ask a nonbinding question on the November statewide election ballot: “Will abortion remain legal? in Indiana? »
Indiana House spokesman Todd Huston said if residents weren’t happy, they could vote for new lawmakers.
Kansas voters have already resoundingly rejected a measure that would have allowed the state’s Republican-controlled legislature to tighten abortion in the first test of voters’ feelings on the issue since Roe was unseated.
Indiana’s proposed ban also came after the political storm over a 10-year-old rape victim who traveled to the state from neighboring Ohio to terminate her pregnancy. The case drew attention when an Indianapolis doctor said the child had come to Indiana because of Ohio’s “fetal heartbeat” ban.
Democratic Rep. Maureen Bauer spoke tearfully ahead of Friday’s vote of residents in her South Bend district who oppose the bill — husbands standing behind their wives, fathers supporting their daughters — as well as wives.” that demand that we be seen as equals”.
Bauer’s comments were followed by loud cheers from protesters in the hallway and subdued applause from fellow Democrats.
“You may not have thought these women would show up,” Bauer said. “Maybe you thought we wouldn’t be careful.”
On July 29, West Virginia lawmakers passed up the chance to be the first state with a unified ban after its lower house refused to approve Senate amendments that removed criminal penalties for doctors who practiced illegal abortions. Delegates instead asked a conference committee to review the details between the bills.