INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – Senate Republicans gathered at the Indiana Statehouse on Wednesday, July 20 to unveil plans for abortion restrictions ahead of the July 25 Special Session.
Fort Wayne NBC reported in march that Hoosier Republicans in both the House and Senate have written a letter to Governor Holcomb, asking him to recall them to session if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, that they officially done on June 24.
At a July 20 press conference, Senate Republicans announced their Senate Bill 1, which seeks to ban abortions with limited exceptions.
SB 1 DETAILS
Senate Speaker Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) says Bill SB 1 seeks to ban abortions except when the life of the mother is in danger, rape and incest.
“Being pro-life is not about criminalizing women, it’s about preserving the dignity of life and helping mothers deliver happy, healthy babies,” said State Senator Sue Glick (R -Barn).
Senator Glick said the bill does not include new penalties for doctors or penalties for mothers. The existing penalty that revokes a doctor’s license if they perform an illegal abortion will remain in place.
She also says the bill does not impact access to IVF, or termination of an ectopic pregnancy or pregnancy in the event of a fatal fetal abnormality. Senator Glick also noted that this does not affect access to the morning after pill, known as Plan B, or any other method of birth control.
THE SPECIAL SESSION BEGINS
The bill was introduced at 11 a.m. Monday, July 25 during the previously scheduled special session at the Indiana Statehouse.
The Senate Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee heard the first round of public testimony from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday, with the second round of testimony scheduled for Tuesday, July 26, from 9 a.m. to noon. The committee will vote on the bill after the second round of evidence.
Vice President Kamala Harris landed in Indianapolis on Monday, July 25 meet with state legislators and leaders to discuss the bills banning abortion Indiana Republicans nominate. She led a roundtable on reproductive rights at 11:30 a.m., you can watch it below.
“An individual should be able to choose according to his personal convictions and the precepts of his faith. But the government shouldn’t tell an individual what to do, especially when it comes to one of the most intimate and personal decisions a woman can make,” Harris said during the roundtable.
The ACLU of Indiana, Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates, Women4Change Indiana and local group Women United For Progress Allen County (WUFPAC) have planned a rally at the Statehouse on the first day of the special session. Thousands of protesters gathered for this rally on Monday morning, waiting for their chance to testify during public comments.
“It terrifies me. There are tons of people who need access to abortion care. As they restrict abortion, they restrict sex education, they restrict access to reproductive health. And again they restrict access to what can be used for ectopic pregnancies. It’s also absolutely essential for millions of Americans and women for health issues,” said Suzanne Barber, a protester from Lafayette.
On Tuesday, July 19, the ACLU of Indiana responded to the bill, saying more than 200 Hoosier companies had signed a letter showing their support for abortion access. The group says the letter aims to highlight the importance of reproductive health care, saying: “Restricting access to comprehensive reproductive care, including abortion, threatens the health, independence and economic stability of our employees and customers. Simply put, it goes against our values and is bad for business. You can read the full letter and the list of signatories here.
Pro-life groups like Indiana right to life argued that the bill does not go far enough in restricting abortions. The group says it plans to mobilize against legislation on Tuesday, July 26 at 11 a.m. at the Indiana Statehouse.
However, some of those in favor of abortion restrictions showed up at the state house on Monday to make their voices heard on the first day of public testimony. David Mervar said he thought it was so important to be there that he made the nearly two-hour trip from northeast Indiana.
“My message would be one thing: it’s always good to do good, it’s always wrong to do bad. Many of you have been involved in pro-life campaigns, let’s see how you put your money where you are now,” Mervar said.
WHAT THE CURRENT ABORTION LAW SAYS
Abortion in Indiana is prohibited after 22 weeks of pregnancy, with some provisions for medical emergencies. Prior to an abortion, patients must undergo an 18-hour waiting period. Medical abortion cannot be administered after 10 weeks of pregnancy. Telemedicated abortions are banned in Indiana.
Care providers must inform patients of the risks of abortion and must say that the fetus may feel pain around 20 weeks, which is disputed by doctors and health professionals. Providers should report abortion-related complications. Failure to report can result in a misdemeanor charge, 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
A person cannot legally or knowingly perform a partial birth abortion unless a physician reasonably believes it is necessary to save the life of the mother and no other medical procedure is sufficient.
Indiana requires that abortions after the first trimester of pregnancy be performed in a hospital or licensed surgical center. Find out more about the law in force here.
This is a live blog that will be continually updated as new information is released.
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