Indiana’s legislature on Friday became the first in the country to pass new legislation restricting access to abortion since the U.S. The Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade was reversed.
The measure now goes to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, who has not indicated whether he will sign it.
Indiana was one of Republican-run state legislatures to debate stricter abortion laws after a Supreme Court ruling in June that removed constitutional protections for the procedure. It is the first state to pass a ban through both chambers, after West Virginia lawmakers passed that state by chance on July 29.
The debates come amid an evolving landscape of abortion politics across the country as Republicans confront some party divisions and Democrats push for a potential election-year.
The Senate almost approved the 28-19 ban, hours after members of the House made it 62-38.
This covers limited exceptions, including cases of rape and incest, and protects the life and physical health of the mother. Exceptions to rape and incest are limited to 10 weeks after fertilization, meaning victims cannot get an abortion in Indiana after that. Victims will not be required to sign a notarized affidavit confirming an assault.
Republican Representative Wendy McNamara of Evansville, who sponsored the bill, told reporters after the House vote that the law “makes Indiana one of the most pro-life states in the country.”
Outside the House chamber, abortion-rights activists often chanted remarks from lawmakers, with signs such as “Cry cry your vote” and “Build this wall” between church and state. Some House Democrats wore blazers over pink “Ban of Our Bodies” T-shirts.
Following repeated requests from doctors and others, the House added exceptions to protect the health and life of the mother. It also allows abortion if a malignant anomaly is diagnosed in the fetus.
Indiana lawmakers have heard hours of testimony over the past two weeks in which residents from all sides of the issue have, rarely, supported the law. Abortion-rights supporters said the bill goes too far, while anti-abortion activists expressed that it doesn’t go far enough.
The House also rejected a Democratic motion to place a non-binding question on the statewide November election ballot, largely on party lines: “Will abortion be legal in Indiana?”
The proposal came after Kansas voters rejected a measure that would have allowed the state’s Republican-controlled legislature to tighten abortion in the first test of voters’ sentiment about the issue since the row was overturned. was.
Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston told reporters that if residents are unhappy, they can vote for new lawmakers.
“Ultimately it is up to the Senate,” he said. “Voters have an opportunity to vote, and if they are dissatisfied, they will have an opportunity both in November and in future years.”
Indiana’s proposed ban also comes after a political storm over the 10-year-old rape victim, who had traveled to the state from neighboring Ohio, to terminate her pregnancy. The case drew attention when an Indianapolis doctor said the baby had come to Indiana because of Ohio’s “fetal palpitations” ban.
Democratic Rep. Maureen Bauer shed tears ahead of Friday’s vote about people in her South Bend district who oppose the bill – husbands standing behind their wives, fathers supporting their daughters – as well as women “who demand Doing so that we should be seen equally.”
Bauer’s remarks were followed by raucous cheers from protesters in the hallway and applause from fellow Democrats.
“You wouldn’t have thought these women would show up,” Bauer said. “Maybe you thought we wouldn’t notice.”
Legislators in West Virginia passed a chance to become the first state with a unified ban on July 29 after its House of Delegates refused to agree with Senate amendments that would reduce criminal penalties for physicians who perform illegal abortions. removes. Instead the delegates asked for a conference committee to consider the details between the bills.
The debates come amid an evolving landscape of abortion politics across the country as Republicans face party divisions and Democrats push for a potential election-year.
Religion was a permanent theme during the special session, both in residents’ testimony and MPs’ comments.
Advocating against the bill, Rep. Ann Vermillion denounced her fellow Republicans, who called women who get abortions “murderers.”
“I think the Lord’s promise is for grace and mercy,” she said. “He wouldn’t be jumping to condemn these women.