Indiana lawmakers approve first state abortion ban since Roe was overthrown

By Gabriella Borter and Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – Indiana’s Republican-controlled Senate gave final legislative approval Friday to a bill that would ban most abortions, six weeks after a U.S. Supreme Court decision upheld a woman’s constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy. had erased.

The bill, passed by 28-19 votes after House approval, would make Indiana the first U.S. state to impose such a ban since the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide was quashed. on June 24.

A decision on whether or not to sign the measure into law is now up to Republican Governor Eric Holcomb.

The Indiana legislature passed the measure at a special session that Republican leaders called to the conservative Supreme Court majority, in a Mississippi case titled Dobbs v. Jackson, immediately clearing the way for all states to regulate abortion as they see fit. .

West Virginia is probably days away from an almost complete abortion ban, and some 10 other Republican-led states have already enacted similar strict bans that were on the books before Dobbs replaced Roe as the law of the land.

The so-called Hoosier state became a flashpoint for the renewed national abortion debate in late June when a 10-year-old rape victim from neighboring Ohio traveled to Indiana to terminate her pregnancy because her home state banned abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for sexual assault. or incest.

The girl was just three days past the six-week abortion limit in Ohio, which had been blocked from enforcement before Roe was impeached, but which came into effect hours after the Dobbs ruling.

Indiana’s current law, which is in effect pending the governor’s signature of the newly passed abortion law, SB-1, allows abortions up to 22 weeks after a patient’s last menstrual period, with several additional restrictions.

SB-1 would ban abortions altogether, with exceptions allowed in cases of fetal abnormalities considered fatal, or to avoid serious physical health risks to the mother. Exceptions are also allowed for underage victims of rape or incest, but only up to 10 weeks of pregnancy.

Doctors found to have violated the measure can be charged with a felony and can revoke their medical license.

The final approval by lawmakers in Indianapolis came three days after abortion enemies took a major blow in the first statewide election test on the issue since Roe fell. Voters in Kansas, another predominantly conservative Midwestern state, on Tuesday rejected a ballot measure to remove abortion rights protections from their state’s constitution.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates-East staged a protest at the Indiana state house Friday night to oppose an abortion ban.

Earlier in the day, dozens of abortion rights advocates gathered in the Capitol and chanted “Shame on you!” while House members passed the bill, according to a video posted on Twitter.

“SB-1 is a vicious and dangerous attack on liberty and liberty. We will not stop fighting until everyone has access to the abortion care they need without the intervention of politicians,” the Indiana ACLU wrote on Twitter.

(Reporting by Gabriella Borter in New York and Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; editing by Shri Navaratnam, Robert Birsel)

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