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

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Indiana’s Republican government Eric Holcomb signed a bill on Friday night banning most abortions.

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

Abortions will also be allowed if a fatal abnormality is diagnosed in a fetus.

Under the bill, abortions may only be performed in hospitals or outpatient clinics owned by hospitals. This means that all abortion clinics would lose their license. A doctor who performs an illegal abortion or fails to submit the necessary reports will also lose his medical license.

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Indiana’s Republican government Eric Holcomb signed a bill on Friday night banning most abortions.
(AP)

Indiana is the first state in the nation to pass new legislation restricting access to abortion since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. It became the first state to pass a ban by both chambers of the legislature after lawmakers in West Virginia skipped the chance to be the first on July 29.

“After Roe’s overthrow, I made it clear that I would be willing to support legislation that made progress in protecting life,” Holcomb said in a statement. “I think, [the abortion law] achieved this goal.”

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

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

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

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

And fellow Republican Rep. Ann Vermilion criticized her party members for calling women “murderers” for having an abortion.

“I think the Lord’s promise is for mercy and kindness,” she said. “He wouldn’t jump to judge these women.”

In the Senate, eight Republicans along with all 11 Democrats voted against the bill.

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

“We are falling back on democracy,” she said. “What other freedoms, what other freedoms are on the chopping block, waiting to be taken away?”

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

Republican Senator Sue Glick said she doesn’t believe “all states will fall in the same place,” but most Indiana residents support aspects of the bill.

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The Indiana Senate on Friday passed the abortion ban 28 to 19, just hours after the House passed it by 62 to 38.  Governor Eric Holcomb then signed it almost immediately after it fell on his desk.

The Indiana Senate on Friday passed the abortion ban 28 to 19, just hours after the House passed it by 62 to 38. Governor Eric Holcomb then signed it almost immediately after it fell on his desk.
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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The ban will take effect on September 15.

“To the people of Indiana, let me assure you that the Democratic process is moving forward and that you must continue to contact all of your elected representatives to make your voices heard,” Holcomb said in his statement. “Looking back, I am personally most proud of every Hoosier who came forward to boldly share their views in a debate that is unlikely to end anytime soon. For my part as your governor, I will continue to keep an open ear.”

Indiana Senate Democrats thrashed over Twitter ban.

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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