After a tense week of debates over whether to include exceptions for rape and incest, Indiana state senators narrowly approved a nearly comprehensive abortion ban on Saturday during a rare weekend session, sending the bill to the House.
After around three hours of discussion, the Senate, which is controlled by Republicans, voted 26-20 to pass it with the bare minimum of 26 votes required to send it to the House.
Abortions would be illegal under the proposed legislation after a fertilized egg implants in a uterus. A patient seeking an abortion for either reason would need to sign a notarized document attesting to the attack, except for cases of rape and incest.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the precedent establishing a national right to abortion last month, Indiana is one of the first Republican-controlled states to debate stricter abortion laws. However, the rape and incest exceptions caused the GOP to split, and ten Republican senators abstained from the vote.
Before the vote, proponents of abortion rights argued that the bill went too far. One of the many doctors who testified against it, Dr. Roberto Darroca, argued for a special circumstance to protect the mother’s health.
Decisions need to be taken quickly. Waiting for legal assistance would halt this decision-making, according to Darroca. “Can you picture the situation the doctor is in? Which is more important: the doctor’s freedom or the patient’s and the child’s lives?
Opponents of abortion claimed it didn’t go far enough.
On Tuesday, Mark Hosbein was one of many people present in the Statehouse. Cheers and chants from protestors could be heard during committee hearings in Senate chambers for the second day in a row during the extraordinary parliamentary session. Holbein, of Indianapolis, declared that he is always in favor of abortion, even if it means saving the mother’s life.
He declared that both trying to kill the mother to save the child and trying to kill the child to kill the mother were wrong. There are a variety of constraints, limitations, and other things in play here. But I’m here in the hopes that I can put a stop to it.
An overwhelming majority of Americans, according to a recent national poll, agree that their state should generally permit abortion in certain circumstances, such as when a woman’s life is in jeopardy or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. A study conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that few people believe abortion should always be prohibited.
The proposal that would have eliminated the rape and incest exceptions was defeated in the Senate on Thursday night 28–18, with the support of 18 Republicans and 10 Democrats.
For the package to get from the Senate to the GOP-controlled House, those Republicans who opposed the exceptions will need to support it.
Nicole Erwin of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates Indiana stated on Friday that she anticipated the Senate to pass the bill before the House of Representatives adopted a complete ban.
They’ve waited for this opportunity for far too long, according to Erwin, who released a statement. We’ve seen it time and time again, so we can only assume the worse, which is that abortion will be outright banned.
Conservative MPs have come under increased pressure from anti-abortion groups.
According to Mike Fichter, president of Indiana Right to Life, if they don’t approve legislation within the three-week session, “they need to explain to the voters why they have done nothing in Indiana to solve this issue.”
Republican House Speaker Todd Huston said he supports the rape and incest exceptions but would not comment on what is in the Senate bill.
We’ll talk about everything next week, I kind of told myself, he said.