This Just Became First State After Roe to Pass Abortion Ban

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed bill Friday barring procedure, with few exceptions
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2022 7:45 AM CDT
This Just Became First State After Roe to Pass Abortion Ban
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks with reporters at the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis on Feb. 23.   (AP Photo/Tom Davies, File)

Indiana residents have just over a month before a restrictive new abortion ban goes into effect, after the state became the first one to pass such a law since Roe v. Wade was overturned. CNN reports that the Republican-sponsored law, set to start Sept. 15, was approved by the state House and Senate on Friday, then signed later that day by Gov. Eric Holcomb. At the moment, patients in the state can get an abortion up to 20 weeks after fertilization. The new restrictions would bar the procedure, allowing exceptions only when the life of the mother is at risk, for pregnancies that resulted from rape and incest, and for fatal fetal abnormalities up to 20 weeks after fertilization.

In a statement after he signed the bill, Holcomb noted that he'd "stated clearly" after the Roe decision that he would be all for such legislation, and that the "carefully negotiated" exceptions would handle "some of the unthinkable circumstances a woman or unborn child might face," per the Washington Post. Abortion rights groups aren't in agreement, and they're slamming the move. The new law "will prove devastating for pregnant people and their families in Indiana and across the whole region," says Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "Hoosiers didn't want this." Anti-abortion groups aren't all happy with the new law, either, with some saying it doesn't curtail abortion access enough, specifically by allowing for exceptions for rape and incest.

Others found the bill to be an acceptable compromise. "I know the exceptions are not enough for some and too much for others, but it's a good balance," Indiana Rep. John Young, a Republican, says, per the New York Times. The development comes just days after abortion rights advocates celebrated a victory in Kansas, where constituents voted down an amendment to the state's constitution that would have nixed protections for abortion access. That Indiana is the first state after the Roe decision to institute this ban is notable, as it recently made headlines after a 10-year-old rape victim came to the state to get an abortion in June because she couldn't in her home state of Ohio. (More Indiana stories.)

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