On Friday night, Indiana became the first state in the nation to pass a near-total abortion ban following the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed the bill into law, which goes into effect on September 15.
There are some notable exceptions to the ban, allowing women to seek an abortion if the pregnancy is a result of rape or incest, if a lethal fetal anomaly has been diagnosed, or if the pregnant woman’s life is at “serious risk.”
The new law also specified that abortions can only be performed in hospitals or outpatient centers affiliated with hospitals, meaning abortion clinics will lose their licenses. Furthermore, the law states that physicians will lose their medical licenses if they perform an illegal abortion or do not “file required reports,” as reported by Associated Press. Under the current law, doctors “may” lose their medical license if they perform an abortion; this new law’s language rids any ambiguity.
“The body inside of the mom’s body is not her body,” Rep. John Jacob (R) reportedly said. “Let me repeat that: The body inside of the mom’s body is not her body. Not her body, not her choice.” Rep. Jacob had hoped for a total abortion ban, previously making clear that he would not vote for this version of the bill because “it is a weak, pathetic bill that still allows babies to be murdered.” He was one of nine Republicans in the House who voted against the bill.
This abortion ban “makes Indiana one of the most pro-life states in the nation,” said Rep. Wendy McNamara (R), one of the bill’s sponsors. “Ultimately, they’re looking at the opportunity for 99% of abortions in the state of Indiana to be eliminated one way or the other.”
On the other side of the aisle, Rep. Renee Pack (D) divulged that she had an abortion in 1990 while serving in the U.S Army, emphasizing the tough choice she had to make. “Sir, I am not a murderer. And my sisters are not murderers, either. We are pro-choice. That is what we are…We believe we have command over our own bodies,” she said.
In response to the ban, the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, which is based in Indianapolis, IN, announced that it would make an effort to grow its company outside of Indiana. “As a global company headquartered in Indianapolis for more than 145 years, we work hard to retain and attract thousands of people who are important drivers of our state’s economy. Given this new law, we will be forced to plan for more employment growth outside our home state.” The company mentioned it already expanded its employee health care coverage to include traveling to other states for abortions.
Indiana’s approval of the abortion ban comes just three days after Kansas decided against removing the right to abortion in its State Constitution.