The legislation is a near-total ban on abortion, offering only limited exceptions for certain cases of rape incest before 10-weeks post-fertilization, as well as in instances of serious fetal abnormalities or when the life of the mother is at stake. Republican lawmakers had previously attempted to remove the rape and incest exception as early as Thursday, the Indianapolis Star reported. Those efforts ultimately proved unsuccessful.
In addition to the restrictions, the new ban limits the location where an abortion can be performed to hospitals and hospital-affiliated outpatient facilities — effectively shuttering all abortion clinics in Indiana. Doctors who provide the procedure to patients outside these rigid confines will lose their medical licenses.
The law, which comes just days after Kansas voters rejected a similar measure, and follows two weeks of testimony from Indiana state lawmakers, will go into effect on September 15.
“I am personally most proud of each Hoosier who came forward to courageously share their views in a debate that is unlikely to cease any time soon,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said in the statement announcing that he had signed the measure. “For my part as your governor, I will continue to keep an open ear.”
Current Indiana law allows abortions up to 22 weeks of pregnancy and only states doctors “may” lose their medical licenses if they perform an illegal abortion.
“A killing machine does not require a permit in this state, but mothers who are carrying our children need a permit to exercise their rights,” Democratic State Sen. Fady Qaddoura said during Friday’s proceedings. Sen. Shelli Yoder, another Democrat, invoked the reputation of former President Donald Trump to highlight the inequities faced by American women. “In 2016 we learned that you can grab a woman’s privates and she gets silenced, and he gets elected president,” she said.
Several Republican lawmakers joined their Democrat colleagues in voting against the bill. According to the Associated Press, State Sen. Mike Bohacek cited the legislation’s lack of clear protections for women with disabilities as the primary reasoning behind his opposition. The Republican, who initially supported the bill but changed his position in recent days, has a 21-year-old daughter with Down syndrome. “If she lost her favorite stuffed animal, she’d be inconsolable, Bohacek said. “Imagine making her carry a child to term.” AP reported the senator then became visibly upset, throwing his notes down and exiting the senate chamber.
Republican Sen. Mike Bohacek could not finish his testimony while raising some of his concerns with what S.B. 1 could mean for young women in Indiana. pic.twitter.com/DZCcBBA3jS
— Cameron DeBlasio (@Cameron_WLFI) August 6, 2022
“The U.S. Supreme Court made the decision to move the abortion rights to the state level, which has peeled an onion on the details of abortion, showing layers and layers of such a difficult topic that I, myself, wasn’t prepared for,” said Republican State Rep. Ann Vermilion, before invoking the anti-abortion movement’s religious zealotry. “I think that the Lord’s promise is for grace and kindness. He would not be jumping to condemn these women.”