Indiana Senate to vote on near-total abortion ban on Saturday

Indiana state senators are due to convene in a rare Saturday session to vote on a near-total ban on abortion, with approval sending the bill to the House after a contentious week of wrangling over allowing exceptions for rape and incest.

Indiana is one of the first Republican-controlled states to debate stricter abortion laws since the US Supreme Court last month overturned precedent establishing a national right to abortion. But the GOP split after the rape and incest exceptions remained in the bill, and it was unclear whether enough anti-abortion lawmakers would support it for passage.

The proposal would ban abortions from the moment a fertilized egg implants in the uterus. Exceptions would be allowed in cases of rape and incest, but a woman or girl seeking an abortion for any reason would have to sign a notarized affidavit attesting to the attack.

Republican Senator Sue Glick de LaGrange, author of the abortion bill, declined to speculate on the bill’s chances of passing.

Abortion rights advocates said the bill went too far. The Doctor. Roberto Darroca, one of several doctors who testified against it, advocated an exception to preserve the mother’s health.

“Decisions must be made quickly. Having to wait for legal advice would freeze this decision-making process,” Darroca said. “Can you imagine the dilemma the doctor faces? The freedom of the doctor versus the life of the patient and the child?”

Opponents of abortion said it didn’t go far enough.

Mark Hosbein was among a large crowd at the Statehouse on Tuesday. For the second day in a row in the special legislative session, applause and screams from protesters could be heard during the committee hearings in the Senate chambers. Hosbein, of Indianapolis, said he supports abortion without exception — even to protect the mother’s life.

“It’s wrong to try to kill the mother to save the baby, and it’s wrong to try to kill the baby to save the mother,” he said. “There are all kinds of limits and restrictions and everything going on here. But I’m here hoping to stop it all.”

A national poll this month found that the overwhelming majority of Americans believe their state should allow abortion in specific cases, including if a woman’s life is in danger or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. Few think that abortion should always be illegal, according to The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Thursday night’s Senate vote on the amendment that would remove the rape and incest exceptions failed by 28 to 18, with 18 Republicans and 10 Democrats joining to maintain the exceptions.

Some of the Republicans who didn’t want the exceptions will have to support the bill to advance from the Senate to the GOP-controlled House.

Nicole Erwin of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates Indiana said she expects Senate approval, followed by House lawmakers adopting an outright ban.

“They’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time,” Erwin said in a statement. “We have seen time and time again that we can only expect the worst of them, which means passing a total abortion ban.”

Anti-abortion groups have sought to increase pressure on conservative lawmakers.

If they don’t pass the legislation during the three-week session, “they need to explain to voters why they didn’t do anything in Indiana to address this issue,” Mike Fichter, president of Indiana Right to Life, said earlier this week. .

Republican House Speaker Todd Huston declined to talk about what’s in the Senate bill, but said he supports the rape and incest exceptions.

“I kind of told myself that we’ll cover all of this next week,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.