The Republican-controlled Indiana Senate gave final legislative approval on Friday to a bill banning most abortions, six weeks after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling struck down the constitutional right of a woman to terminate her pregnancy.
The bill, which passed in a 28-7 p.m. vote after approval by the state House of Representatives, would make Indiana the first U.S. state to impose such a ban since the Roe case. Wade’s 1973 lawsuit legalizing abortion nationwide was overturned on June 24.
The bill went to the state’s Republican Governor, Eric Holcomb, who signed it into law Friday night.
The Indiana Legislature passed the measure in a special session its Republican leaders called after the conservative Supreme Court majority in a Mississippi case called Dobbs v. Jackson immediately cleared the way for all states to regulate abortion as they see fit.
West Virginia is likely days away from passing a near-total abortion ban, and a dozen other Republican-led states have already implemented similarly strict bans that were on the books. before Dobbs replaced Roe as the law of the land.
The so-called Hoosier State became a flashpoint for the new national abortion debate in late June when a 10-year-old rape victim from neighboring Ohio traveled to Indiana to cut off her pregnancy because her home state prohibited abortions after six weeks gestation, with no exceptions for sexual assault or incest.
The girl was just three days past Ohio’s six-week abortion limit, which had been blocked before Roe’s overturning but then took effect hours after Dobbs’ decision.
Indiana’s current law, in effect pending the governor’s signature on the recently passed abortion bill, SB-1, allows abortions up to 22 weeks after a patient’s last menstrual period, with several additional restrictions.
SB-1 would ban abortions completely, with exceptions allowed for fatal fetal abnormalities or to prevent serious physical health risks to the mother.
Exceptions are also allowed for minors who are victims of rape or incest, but only up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. Doctors who violate the measure could be charged with a crime and face the revocation of their medical license.
The final passage by lawmakers in Indianapolis came three days after abortion haters suffered a heavy blow in the first statewide election test on the issue since Roe’s fall.
Voters in Kansas, another predominantly conservative Midwestern state, on Tuesday rejected a ballot measure seeking to remove abortion rights protections from their state constitution.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and the Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates-East staged a protest Friday night at Indiana’s Statehouse to oppose the abortion ban.
Earlier in the day, dozens of abortion rights advocates rallied on Capitol Hill chanting “Shame on you!” as members of the House passed the bill, according to a video posted to Twitter.
“SB-1 is a cruel and dangerous attack on freedom and freedom. We won’t stop fighting until everyone has access to the abortion care they need without politicians sneering. interfere,” the ACLU of Indiana wrote on Twitter.