The Indiana legislature has become the first in the nation to pass an abortion ban after the Supreme Court overturned Roe. The measure now goes to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, who has not indicated whether he will sign it.
Earlier today, the Indiana state House approved a bill to ban most abortions and tonight the state Senate voted to confirm the changes to the initial bill.
House members advanced the abortion ban on a 62-38 vote after confirming the law would allow exceptions for rape, incest and to protect the life of the mother. It also allows abortions if the baby has a condition not compatible with life. Abortion in cases of rape or incest can only be done in the first 10 weeks. The bill does not affect birth control or treatment for ectopic pregnancies.
Republican Rep. Wendy McNamara of Evansville, who sponsored the bill, said the legislation “reflects an understanding that this is one of the most difficult and contentious issues of our lifetime.”
“It exemplifies the value of human life,” she said. “I ask you to please join me in voting yes on Senate Bill 1
Indiana Right to Life has initially opposed the bill as its first incarnation was weaker and lacked the enforcement mechanism necessary to truly ban aboritons and hold abortionists accountable for killing unborn babies. Fichter told LifeNews the pro-life group is now satisfied with the House version following changes to strengthen it.
“Indiana Right to Life believes substantive changes to SB1 in the House provide renewed hope that over 95% of Indiana’s 8,414 abortions will end if it becomes law. House amendments will make abortion clinics a thing of the past in Indiana, requiring that abortions for limited circumstances be done in hospitals, or hospital-owned surgical centers,” Fichter explained.
He added: “The House also tightened language for the life of the mother exception, limited abortions to ten weeks in circumstances of rape or incest, and limited abortions for lethal fetal anomalies to 20 weeks.”
“We will continue to work to build consensus going forward that all lives are to be valued, regardless of the means of one’s conception,” he said.
Fichter said he expects every abortion business in Indiana to be closed by September once the bill becomes law.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, 14 states have either an abortion ban or heartbeat law actively saving babies from abortions and several other states are fighting in court to protect unborn children, including in Arizona. It the bill is signed into law, Indiana could become the first state to pass an abortion ban since the Dobbs decision.
As LifeNews reported, the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, with a 6-3 majority ruling in the Dobbs case that “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion” — allowing states to ban abortions and protect unborn babies. The high court also ruled 6-3 uphold the Mississippi 15-week abortion ban so states can further limit abortions and to get rid of the false viability standard.
Chief Justice John Roberts technically voted for the judgment but, in his concurring opinion, disagreed with the reasoning and said he wanted to keep abortions legal but with a new standard.
Texas and Oklahoma had banned abortions before Roe was overturned and Missouri became the first state after Roe to protect babies from abortions and South Dakota became the 2nd. Then Arkansas became the third state protecting babies from abortions and Kentucky became the 4th and Louisiana became the 5th and Ohio became the 6th and Utah became the 7th and Oklahoma became the 8th and Alabama became the 9th. This week, Mississippi became the 10th and South Carolina became the 11th,Texas became the 12th with its pre-Roe law and Tennessee became the 13th.
Michigan, Wisconsin and West Virginia have old pro-life laws on the books but there is question about whether they are applicable and will be enforced.
Ultimately, as many as 26 states could immediately or quickly ban abortions and protect babies from certain death for the first time in nearly 50 years.
The 13 total states with trigger laws that would effectively ban all or most abortions are: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
“Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” Alito wrote.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” Alito wrote. “And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”
Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer authored a joint dissent condemning the decision as enabling states to enact “draconian” restrictions on women.
Polls show Americans are pro-life on abortion and a new national poll shows 75% of Americans essentially agree with the Supreme Court overturning Roe.
Despite false reports that abortion bans would prevent doctors from treating pregnant women for miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies, pro-life doctors confirm that is not the case. Some 35 states have laws making it clear that miscarriage is not abortion and every state with an abortion ban allows treatment for both.