Governor Holcomb signs near-total abortion ban into law

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("Indiana State Capitol Building" by Drew Tarvin, CC BY 2.0)

Governor Holcomb has signed a near-total abortion ban into law, barely an hour after final approval by the Senate.

The bill allows abortion if there’s a serious health risk to the mother, or in cases of rape or incest within 10 weeks. Abortions would be allowed for fatal birth defects up to 20 weeks. Starting September 15, any other abortion is banned unless the mother faces serious health risk.

The emotionally charged debate lasted four hours in the House and about as long in the Senate, with abortion rights protesters chanting loudly throughout from the hallway — and occasionally from the spectators’ gallery in the House. House Majority Leader Matt Lehman (R-Berne) argues no one has yet contradicted supporters’ argument that a fetus is a human life, only that it’s not fully developed.

“Neither is a two-year-old. Neither is a 13-year-old,” Lehman says. “I’m not going to put a dot on a line and say this is where life is disposable.”

Holcomb calls the bill “once-in-a-generation legislation” to protect life in Indiana, within what he calls “carefully negotiated exceptions to address some of the unthinkable circumstances a woman or unborn child might face.”

A tearful South Bend Representative Maureen Bauer (D) charged the bill will turn back the clock to an era when women were denied other rights, from getting a divorce to opening their own bank account. And Jeffersonville Representative Rita Fleming (D), a former obstetric specialist who’s supported some past abortion restrictions, says it’s unthinkable that legislators are creating a narrow 10-week window for rape victims, including teenagers or preteens, to get an abortion.

Nine Republicans in the House and nine more in the Senate joined Democrats in voting against the bill. Marion Representative Ann Vermilion (R) says she’s always been pro-life, and says she’s still committed to the state’s interest in protecting life once a fetus has reached viability around 20 weeks. But Vermilion says being pro-life is not incompatible with being “pro-choice and pro-woman.” She says the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade forced her to think about the nuances of the issue in a way legislators haven’t had to before, and warns the bill has been rushed.

And the former hospital administrator says she’s “petrified” that the ban will drive doctors out of Indiana, when the state already has a shortage of medical providers in many rural areas. Bloomington Representative Matt Pierce (D) adds that doctors may be reluctant to act even within the exceptions the law allows, for fear of being second-guessed and potentially losing their licenses.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Indiana Senate Democrats are calling this new law a failure of democracy. How so? Did they not get to debate the bill? Did they not get to vote their conscience on the bill?? Were they kept out of he committee hearings or off the floor of the chamber?? If anything, it is clearly democracy in action and certainly beats nine unelected judges in Washington deciding how the people of Indiana will deal with this issue. If the people of Indiana find the new law unworkable or objectionable in any way, they can legally change it through another act of democracy in action. The peoples representatives voting on these measures is democracy, pure and simple. We live in a Democratic REPUBLIC. If that hospital administrator is “petrified” he probably should not be a hospital administrator being incapable of logical thought. Besides hospitals are the least democratic organizations in existence because they blindly followed Darth Fraudci down the tubes leaving most Americans very skeptical of their pronouncements. The bill was “bipartisan with a mixed bag voting against it. Democrats are the worst hypocrites in all history. The scream at the top of their lungs “democracy!” Yet when a democratic process renders a decision they do not like they claim “democracy” failed. Stooges. Frauds. Nincompoops. Ignoramuses!!! You dingbats cannot have it both ways.

    Kudos to Dopey Prince Eric the Chinless wonder of Hoosierland for promptly signing the bill. AND since we have a real Attorney General in Todd Rokita, unlike that other Todd, Toad Young, it will be defended vigorously in court as greedy abortionists try to claim the bill is unconstitutional.

  2. “from getting a divorce to opening their own bank account”

    The rhetoric from the Dems is sooooo stupid, it’s breathtaking. Does that silly purple haired hambeast actually believe the tripe she breathlessly proclaims? The GOP representative claiming that doctors will flee the state over this is just as silly.

  3. This bill may encourage women who are raped to report the attack. So many women don’t. But because there is a narrow window should they feel they could not carry out a pregnancy, reporting would be necessary. Maybe more of these animals will be caught and punished.

  4. 🚫 Women who don’t want babies should stop having sex with men. Maybe Planned Parenthood can start offer free vasectomies to these sexually active men.

    There is always a short drive to Chicago to get your free legal abortion. It’s a great city where people shoot and kill each other everyday too. They really care about the sanctity of life don’t they.

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