The Indiana State Senate has passed a bill that bans nearly all abortions statewide, the first ban to be advanced since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
In a Saturday special session, the state Senate passed Senate Bill 1, banning abortions from the moment of conception. The bill classifies abortion as a felony, making exceptions for rape, incest, and to protect the life of the mother. The bill also empowers the state attorney general to prosecute abortion cases at a county level if a county prosecutor categorically refuses to prosecute abortions. The bill passed the Senate 26-20 with 26 Republicans voting for it, and 10 Republicans voting with Democrats against it.
The bill prohibits all abortions, with few exceptions. First, an abortion is legal if “[t]he physician determines, based on reasonable medical judgment, that an abortion is necessary to prevent a substantial permanent impairment of the life of the pregnant woman.”
“If a pregnant woman is less than 16 years old, an abortion is legal if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, and the gestational age of the unborn child is less than 12 weeks. If a pregnant woman is at least 16, an abortion is legal if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, and if the unborn child is less than eight weeks old. In both cases, the pregnant woman must provide the physician “with a notarized affidavit, signed by the woman under penalties of perjury, attesting to the rape or incest. The physician shall place the affidavit in the woman’s permanent health record,” the bill states.
The bill also provides an exception in cases “where the fetus suffers from an irremediable medical condition that is incompatible with sustained life outside the womb, regardless of when the child is born.”
These exceptions are only applicable when performed by a licensed physician at a hospital or surgical center, if the abortion is performed by an abortifacient drug, the patient must take the drug in the presence of the physician, who must perform an exam and inform the patient about the drug. The woman must consent to the abortion, unless the abortion is for the life of the mother.
State Senator Sue Glick, who authored the bill in the Senate, praised its passage Saturday. “The passage of Senate Bill 1 is a huge step forward in protecting the life of the unborn children in our state,” Glick said in a statement. “We have put together a bill that would not criminalize women and would protect the unborn whose voices have been silenced for the past 50 years under Roe v Wade. Now, we understand this may not be the final version of the bill, and we are only through the first half of its long journey to becoming law, but we have put together a pro-life framework that, in my opinion, is fair and just.”
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.