Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb (R) on Friday signed a bill that banned nearly all abortions in the state, making it the first state to adopt new abortion legislation since the Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade in June.
The bill bans all abortions in the state except in cases of rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother, or if the fetus is diagnosed with a lethal anomaly. The rape and incest exceptions are only available in the first 10 weeks after fertilization.
Victims of rape or incest would not be required to sign a notarized affidavit that they had been attacked, a requirement that had been considered but was later dropped from the bill.
Any abortions that are performed in the state will be required to take place at hospitals or hospital-owned outpatient clinics, and all abortion clinics in the state will lose their licenses under the law.
“Progress in protecting life”
Any doctor that performs an illegal abortion or fails to file the necessary paperwork could lose their medical license in the state.
The legislation passed the Senate by a 28 to 19 vote a few hours after the House passed it by a 62 to 38 vote. It will take effect on September 15.
“Following the overturning of Roe, I stated clearly that I would be willing to support legislation that made progress in protecting life,” Holcomb said in a statement. “In my view, [the abortion law] accomplishes this goal.”
Rep. Wendy McNamara (R) said to reporters upon the bill’s passage in the House that Indiana is now “one of the most pro-life states in the nation.”
“Backsliding on Democracy”
Although the bill passed by wide margins, it was hotly debated and eight Republicans joined Democrats in voting against it.
Rep. Ann Vermilion (R) spoke out against fellow Republicans who have called women “murderers” for having an abortion.
“I think that the Lord’s promise is for grace and kindness,” she said. “He would not be jumping to condemn these women.”
Democratic Sen. Jean Breaux said the bill meant the state was “backsliding on Democracy,” adding, “What other freedoms, what other liberties are on the chopping block, waiting to be stripped away?”