Indiana Legislature Approves Ban on Most Abortions

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The Indiana legislature on Aug. 5 became the first state legislature in the country to approve a bill banning most abortions, following the overturning of the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in late June.

The legislation, SB1, bans all abortions, except in the case of incest, rape, a diagnosis of a lethal fetal anomaly, or in circumstances where abortion is determined necessary to protect the life and physical health of the mother.

The rape and incest exceptions are limited to 10 weeks after fertilization; in such cases, victims would not be required to sign a notarized affidavit attesting to an attack.

The abortion ban now heads to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk. Holcomb has not indicated whether he will sign the bill, but has indicated previously that he takes a pro-life stance.

Holcomb had issued a statement shortly after the June 24 U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe. v. Wade, saying he would call on Indiana lawmakers to work on abortion legislation in the state.

“The Supreme Court’s decision is clear, and it is now up to the states to address this important issue. We’ll do that in short order in Indiana. I’ve already called the General Assembly back on July 6, and I expect members to take up this matter as well,” he wrote on Twitter at the time.

“I have been clear in stating I am pro-life. We have an opportunity to make progress in protecting the sanctity of life, and that’s exactly what we will do,” he added.

The legislation was transmitted to the Senate on Aug. 5 after it was amended in the House earlier in the day. Indiana House members advanced the bill in a 62–38 vote, and Indiana Senate members approved the ban by a 28–19 vote.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican state Rep. Wendy McNamara of Evansville, told reporters after the House vote that the legislation “makes Indiana one of the most pro-life states in the nation.”

“Too often these days we are exposed to much violence and death,” McNamara said before the House vote, according to CNN. “This bill restores faith in humanity and faith that human life has value.”

This story is developing, please check back for updates.

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