Governor Holcomb says he expects legislators won’t wait to take up new abortion restrictions

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("Indiana State Capitol Building" by Drew Tarvin, CC BY 2.0)
House and Senate leaders and Governor Holcomb say they expect legislators won’t wait to take up new abortion restrictions in Indiana, but will start work on a bill when they begin a special session July 6.
House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) and Senate President Pro Tem Rod Bray (R-Martinsville) pledge they’ll be mindful of the passions on both sides of the issue, and will conduct public committee hearings to give the public a say. Both praise the Supreme Court ruling allowing states to chart their own course, and say they plan to build on what Bray calls Indiana’s strong record as a pro-life state. In a written statement, Holcomb says the ruling means Indiana has “an opportunity to make progress in protecting the sanctity of life, and that’s exactly what we will do.”
Huston and Bray were among 100 legislative Republicans who began asking Holcomb for a special session before the regular session was even over, in anticipation of the Supreme Court ruling. As it turns out, there’s a special session anyway, to discuss a tax rebate.
Senate Minority Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) says he won’t support any abortion limits, but warns the ruling means Republicans who have called for banning abortion now must confront just what that will mean: whether to establish criminal penalties, how to reconcile a ban with medical issues like tubular pregnancies, and whether to allow exceptions for rape, incest, or the mother’s life or health. House Minority Leader Phil GiaQuinta (D-Fort Wayne) argues the wide range of medical circumstances is exactly why government shouldn’t be involved.
Taylor contends outlawing abortion will endanger women’s lives, if they’re afraid or unable to seek medical treatment, or if they turn to unlicensed providers. And he argues Republicans haven’t come to grips with the practical implications of a ban. He says half of Indiana newborns are on Medicaid, creating an additional tax burden if birth rates rise. And he says nearly half Indiana’s 92 counties don’t have any gynecologists, and says some of those who do practice here have threatened to leave if Indiana passes an abortion law.
Huston says in a written statement he can’t speculate on the form of the eventual bill, but it’ll be coupled with an expansion of services for pregnant women and new mothers. GiaQuinta says that’s badly needed, including steps to establish family leave and affordable child care, but says it should be a separate issue.
The court ruling instantly bans abortion in three states which passed “trigger laws” that would block abortion in the event the court struck down Roe. Similar trigger laws will take effect in 10 more states after 30 days or after procedural steps, while another nine states never repealed abortion bans on the books before Roe — those laws now become enforceable.​

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