The Republican-controlled Indiana Senate finally approved a bill banning most abortions on Friday, six weeks after the US Supreme Court struck down a woman’s constitutional right to terminate a pregnancy.
The bill, passed 28-19 hours after approval by the state House of Representatives, would make Indiana the first U.S. state to implement such a ban since the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case legalizing abortion nationwide was struck down on June 24.
The bill was passed to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, who signed it into law Friday night.
Indiana’s legislature passed the measure during a special session its Republican leaders convened after the Supreme Court’s conservative majority in a Mississippi case called Dobbs v. Jackson immediately cleared the way for all states to regulate abortion at their discretion.
West Virginia is probably days away from a near-total abortion ban, and about 10 other Republican-led states have already implemented the same strict bans that were on the books before Dobbs replaced Rowe as the nation’s law.
The so-called Hoosier State became a hotspot for a renewed nationwide abortion debate in late June, when a 10-year-old rape victim from neighboring Ohio traveled to Indiana to terminate her pregnancy because abortion was banned in her home state after six weeks of pregnancy. no exceptions for sexual assault or incest.
The girl was only three days past Ohio’s six-week abortion limit, which was blocked before Rowe was executed, but then went into effect hours after Dobbs’ decision.
Current Indiana law, in effect until the Governor signed the recently passed abortion bill SB-1, allows abortions up to 22 weeks after a patient’s last menstrual period, with some additional restrictions.
SB-1 will completely ban abortion, except in cases of fatal fetal anomalies or to prevent serious risks to the physical health of the mother.
Exceptions are also allowed for minor victims of rape or incest, but only up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. Physicians who violate this measure may be charged with a felony and face revocation of their medical license.
The final decision by lawmakers in Indianapolis came three days after anti-abortion opponents were hit hard in the first statewide election test on the issue since Row’s fall.
Voters in Kansas, another predominantly conservative Midwestern state, on Tuesday rejected a vote aimed at removing protections for the right to abortion from their state constitution.
The Indiana American Civil Liberties Union and the Eastern Planned Parenthood Alliance staged a protest Friday night outside the Indiana State House against the abortion ban.
Earlier that day, dozens of abortion rights advocates gathered outside the Capitol chanting “Shame on you!” how members of the House of Representatives passed the bill, according to a video posted on Twitter.
“SB-1 is a brutal and dangerous attack on liberty and liberty. We will not stop fighting until everyone can access the abortion services they need without political intervention,” the Indiana ACLU tweeted.