Indiana becomes first state in nation to approve near-total abortion ban after Roe


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Republican Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill Friday night banning most abortions.

The new law prohibits the procedure except in cases of rape, incest and to protect the life and physical health of the mother. The exceptions for rape and incest only apply in the first 10 weeks after fertilization. Victims would not be required to sign a notarized affidavit attesting to an attack, which had previously been proposed.

Abortions will also be permitted if a fetus is diagnosed with a fatal abnormality.

According to the bill, abortions can only be performed in hospitals or hospital-owned outpatient centers. This means that all abortion clinics would lose their license. A doctor who performs an illegal abortion or fails to file the necessary reports will also lose their medical license.

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Republican Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill Friday night banning most abortions.
(AP)

Indiana is the first state in the nation to approve new legislation restricting access to abortion since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in June. It became the first state to pass a ban by both houses of the Legislature after West Virginia lawmakers passed up the opportunity to be first on July 29.

“Following Roe’s overthrow, I made it clear that I would support legislation that would make progress in protecting life,” Holcomb said in a statement. “In my opinion, [the abortion law] achieved this goal.”

The Indiana Senate approved the legislation 28-19 on Friday, just hours after the House passed it by a 62-38 vote.

GOP Rep. Wendy McNamara told reporters after the House vote that the legislation made Indiana “one of the most pro-life states in the country.”

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Indiana is the first state in the nation to approve new legislation restricting access to abortion since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v.  Wade in June.

Indiana is the first state in the nation to approve new legislation restricting access to abortion since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in June.
(REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

And fellow Republican Ann Vermilion criticized members of her party who called women “murderers” for having abortions.

“I think the Lord’s promise is for grace and goodness,” she said. “He wouldn’t jump to convict these women.”

In the Senate, eight Republicans joined 11 Democrats in voting against the bill.

Democratic Senator Jean Breaux wore a green ribbon on her lapel on Friday to signify her support for abortion access.

“We are going backwards when it comes to democracy,” she said. “What other freedoms, what other freedoms are on the chopping block, waiting to be stripped?

GOP Sen. Mike Bohacek, whose 21-year-old daughter has Down syndrome, said the legislation does not provide adequate protections for women with disabilities who are raped.

Republican Sen. Sue Glick said she doesn’t believe “every state will fall in one place,” but most Indiana residents support some aspects of the bill.

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The Indiana Senate approved the abortion ban by a vote of 28 to 19 on Friday, just hours after the House passed it by a vote of 62 to 38. Gov. Eric Holcomb then signed it into law almost immediately after he hit his desk.

The Indiana Senate approved the abortion ban by a vote of 28 to 19 on Friday, just hours after the House passed it by a vote of 62 to 38. Gov. Eric Holcomb then signed it into law almost immediately after he hit his desk.
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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The ban will come into effect on September 15.

“To the people of Indiana, let me assure you that the democratic process is moving forward and that you should continue to reach out to all of your elected representatives to make your voice heard,” Holcomb said in his statement. “Looking back, I am personally very proud of every Hoosier who has come forward to bravely share their views in a debate that is not expected to end anytime soon. For my part as Governor, I will continue to keep an ear opened.”

Indiana Senate Democrats criticized the Twitter ban.

The group wrote: “Excessive government. State-enforced pregnancy. A rollback of women’s rights. A failure of democracy. Call it what you will – it’s a stain on our state.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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