Indiana House Proposes New Changes to Senate Abortion Ban

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana House on Tuesday proposed new changes to a Senate-approved abortion ban, with additional exceptions to protect the health of the mother and adjust the time frame in which abortion would be allowed in cases of rape and incest.

Republican Representative Wendy McNamara, of Evansville, who is sponsoring the House version of the Senate bill?introduced the exception that would allow abortions to protect both the physical health and life of the mother, a popular request from doctors and others testified before the Senate last week. The amendment would also allow abortions if a fetus is diagnosed with a fatal abnormality.

It also removes the Senate-approved age-based time limits for abortions in rape or incest cases. In the Senate version, abortions would be allowed for those under 16 for up to 12 weeks, while those aged 16 and older would be given eight weeks.

The House amendment instead creates a blanket 10-week ban on abortions in rape and incest cases, and would also no longer require victims to sign a notarized affidavit attesting to an assault.

The attorney general’s office would also lose its Senate-approved prosecution power in lieu of local prosecutors saying they won’t enforce the ban. No new enforcement provisions against doctors have been proposed by the House, using current Indiana law that says doctors can face criminal charges if they perform an illegal abortion. Abortion clinics would also lose their license due to the proposed change.

“We want to make sure that this amendment reflects the understanding that this is the most difficult and controversial issue of our lives,” McNamara said at a House committee meeting on Tuesday, when members will hear testimony for the first time about the House election. version of the bill.

The amendment comes after a dispute among senators, who barely passed the Senate bill 26-20 after members splintered on Thursday over the addition of rape and incest exceptions.

As during last week’s Senate sessions, testimonies from the hallway poured into the House room from the hallway, as did cheers from abortion rights activists.

All parties to the abortion debate opposed the bill, which was approved on Saturday. Anti-abortion activists argued it was too lax and objected to the rape and incest exceptions, while abortion rights activists said the bill goes too far.

“We’re going to be discussing a very sensitive topic that’s very, very personal to everyone sitting here,” McNamara said. “What I’m asking of you is to make sure they are respected today.”


Arleigh Rodgers is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a national, not-for-profit service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on classified issues. Follow her on Twitter on


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