Hundreds of Hoosiers stand outside the Indiana House during a X-hour debate on a restrictive abortion ban. (Whitney Downard/Indiana Capital Chronicle). Courtesy of the Indiana Capital Chronicle.
Indiana’s governor signed into law late Friday a Republican-backed bill that will ban virtually all abortions in the state, making it the first to enact abortion-restricting legislation since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
The ban takes effect on Sept. 15, at which point Indiana will have one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation.
Senators accepted the House-amended version of the bill in a 28-19 concurrence vote late Friday evening after more than three hours of debate.
Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the bill into law less than an hour after the General Assembly recessed.
“Following the overturning of Roe, I stated clearly that I would be willing to support legislation that made progress in protecting life. In my view, SEA 1 accomplishes this goal following its passage in both chambers of the Indiana General Assembly with a solid majority of support,” Holcomb said in a statement.
“These actions followed long days of hearings filled with sobering and personal testimony from citizens and elected representatives on this emotional and complex topic,” he continued. “Ultimately, those voices shaped and informed the final contents of the legislation and its carefully negotiated exceptions to address some of the unthinkable circumstances a woman or unborn child might face.”
Katie Blair, advocacy and public policy director at the ACLU of Indiana, meanwhile called the bill’s passage “a dark day in the state of Indiana.”
“The General Assembly has passed a ban on abortion, turning back the clock 50 years on Hoosiers’ fundamental right to control their own bodies,” Blair said in a statement. “SB 1 will force women to either travel hundreds of miles or carry pregnancies against their will, resulting in life-altering consequences and serious health risks. This is an unconscionable attack on our freedom.”
The new law outlaws all abortions except in the case of a fatal fetal anomaly and cases of serious health risk to the mother — up to 20 weeks post-fertilization. Rape incest survivors can get an abortion up to 10 weeks post-fertilization.
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