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White House denounces Indiana abortion ban, calls on Congress to act

The White House on Saturday called Indiana’s near-total abortion ban “devastating” and demanded that Congress act immediately to restore national protections for the procedure in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling. to cancel deer c.Wade.

Indiana on Friday became the first state in the nation to approve abortion restrictions since the June Supreme Court ruling that stripped constitutional protections on abortion, as the Republican governor quickly signed a near ban. full procedure shortly after lawmakers approved it.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called Indiana’s decision “a radical new step by Republican lawmakers aimed at suppressing women’s reproductive rights and freedoms and placing personal decisions in health care to politicians rather than to women and their doctors”.

“Yesterday’s vote, which establishes a near-total ban on abortion in Indiana, should be a signal to Americans across the country to make their voices heard,” Ms. Jean-Pierre said in a statement. “Congress should also act immediately to pass legislation restoring protections for deer – the only way to guarantee the right of women to choose at the national level.

Indiana’s ban, which takes effect September 15, includes some exceptions. Abortions would be allowed in cases of rape and incest, but only before 10 weeks after fertilization; protect the life and physical health of the mother; and if a fetus is diagnosed with a fatal abnormality. Victims of rape and incest would not be required to sign a notarized affidavit attesting to an assault, as had previously been proposed.

Under the new law, abortions can only be performed in hospitals or hospital-owned outpatient centers, meaning all abortion clinics would lose their license. A doctor who performs an illegal abortion or fails to file required reports must also lose their medical license — language that tightens Indiana’s current law that says a doctor “may” lose their license.


SEE ALSO: Indiana becomes first state to approve abortion ban after Roe


“I am personally very proud of every Hoosier who has come forward to bravely share their perspective in a debate that is not expected to end anytime soon,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said in the statement announcing he had signed the measure. . “For my part as your governor, I will continue to keep an ear open.”

His approval came after the Senate approved the ban 28-19 and the House advanced it 62-38.

Indiana was among the first Republican-led state legislatures to debate tougher abortion laws after the Supreme Court’s ruling in June that removed constitutional protections for the procedure. But it is the first state to pass a ban by both houses, after West Virginia lawmakers passed up July 29 the chance to be that state.

“Glad to be done with this, one of the hardest things we’ve ever done as a State General Assembly, at least certainly since I’ve been here,” said Senate Speaker Pro -Tem Rodric Bray, to journalists after the vote. “I think it’s a huge opportunity, and we’re going to capitalize on it as we move forward from here.”

Senator Sue Glick de LaGrange, who sponsored the bill, said she doesn’t think “every state will fall to the same place,” but that most Indiana residents support some aspects of the bill. law.

Some senators from both parties lamented the provisions of the bill and the impact it would have on the state, including low-income women and the health care system. Eight Republicans joined 11 Democrats in voting against the bill, though their reasons for thwarting the measure were mixed.

“We are going backwards on democracy,” said Democratic Senator Jean Breaux of Indianapolis, who wore a green ribbon on her lapel Friday signifying her support for abortion rights. “What other freedoms, what other freedoms are on the chopping block, waiting to be stripped?”

Republican Senator Mike Bohacek of Michiana Shores spoke about his 21-year-old daughter, who has Down syndrome. Bohacek voted against the bill, saying it does not provide adequate protections for disabled women who are raped.

“If she lost her favorite stuffed animal, she would be inconsolable. Imagine having her carry a child to term,” he said before starting to choke, then threw his notes on his seat and left the bedroom.

Republican Sen. Mike Young of Indianapolis, however, said the bill’s enforcement provisions against doctors are not strong enough.

Such debates have demonstrated Indiana residents’ own divisions on the issue, on display in hours of testimony heard by lawmakers over the past two weeks. Residents rarely, if ever, expressed support for the legislation in their testimony, as pro-choice supporters said the bill went too far while pro-life activists said it didn’t. far enough.

The debates unfolded amid an evolving landscape of abortion politics across the country as Republicans grapple with some party splits and Democrats see a possible election-year boost.

Republican Rep. Wendy McNamara of Evansville, who sponsored the House bill, told reporters after the House vote that the legislation “makes Indiana one of the most pro-life states in the country”.

Outside the chambers, pro-choice activists often chanted lawmakers’ remarks, carrying signs like “Roe roe deer your vote” and “Build that wall” between church and state. Some House Democrats wore blazers over pink “Bans Off Our Bodies” T-shirts.

Indiana’s ban followed the political storm over a 10-year-old rape victim who traveled to the state from neighboring Ohio to end his pregnancy. The case drew attention when an Indianapolis doctor said the child had come to Indiana because of Ohio’s “fetal heartbeat” ban.

Religion was a recurring theme during legislative debates, both in the testimonies of residents and in the comments of lawmakers.

In arguing against the House bill, Rep. Ann Vermilion condemned fellow Republicans who called the women “murderers” for having abortions.

“I think the Lord’s promise is for grace and goodness,” she said. “He wouldn’t jump to convict these women.”

• This article was based in part on wire service reports.

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