(National Review) Indiana became the first state on Friday to enact a sweeping pro-life law prohibiting most abortions with narrow exceptions, following the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.
Under the law, signed by Indiana Republican governor Eric Holcomb, the procedure may only be performed when it is necessary to prevent any serious health risk of the pregnant woman or to save the pregnant woman’s life, the fetus is diagnosed with a lethal fetal anomaly, or the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest. There is a window of ten weeks post-fertilization to qualify for the rape and incest exception.
Before the new law was passed, Indiana already had a regulation on the books barring abortions after 20 weeks after fertilization (or 22 weeks after the mother’s last menstrual period).
If an abortion is obtained, certain people are not liable, according to the law. Exempts “from the crime of feticide” include the pregnant mother, a person who provides medical treatment in good faith to a pregnant woman that results in the accidental or unintentional termination of the pregnancy, and a doctor who performs a medical procedure to terminate the pregnancy upon request of the pregnant woman.
Permitted abortions under the law can only be performed in hospitals or outpatient centers owned by hospitals, implying that abortion clinics can no longer be operational. A physician who performs an illegal abortion or does not file the proper paperwork will also lose his medical license.
“Following the overturning of Roe, I stated clearly that I would be willing to support legislation that made progress in protecting life,” Holcomb said in a statement. “In my view, [the abortion law] accomplishes this goal.”
Both chambers of the state legislature overwhelmingly approved the measure, with the Indiana Senate voting 28 to 19 and the House voting 62 to 38.
Republican Indiana state representative Wendy McNamara reminded reporters after the bill succeeded that it is a pro-life victory but that women who undergo abortions should not be demonized by her party, Fox News reported. The law makes Indiana “one of the most pro-life states in the nation,” she said. But “I think that the Lord’s promise is for grace and kindness.He would not be jumping to condemn these women.”
The vote triggered an uproar among many of the dissenting Democratic legislators, who called the bill “state mandated pregnancy,” “backsliding on democracy,” and a “rollback of women’s rights.”
“To the people of Indiana, let me assure you that the democratic process marches on, and you should continue to reach out to all your elected representatives to have your voice heard,” Holcomb said in his statement. “Looking back, I am personally most proud of each Hoosier who came forward to courageously share their views in a debate that is unlikely to cease any time soon. For my part as your governor, I will continue to keep an open ear.”
The legislature’s move comes after Indiana state attorney general Todd Rokita launched an investigation into an Indianapolis-based abortionist who performed an abortion on a ten-year-old rape victim from Ohio on the grounds that she did not follow required reporting protocol. Doctor Caitlin Bernard claimed a child-abuse doctor in Ohio asked her to help the young girl get an abortion in Indiana, which before Friday allowed abortions up to 22 weeks of gestation, given restrictions in her home state, which prohibits abortions after six weeks.