Indiana Becomes First State Post-Roe To Pass Law Banning Most Abortions

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Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb on Friday signed a bill that would ban most abortions — the first state to pass a restrictive law against the procedure since Roe v. Wade was overturned earlier this summer.

The Indiana House and Senate passed the GOP-sponsored bill earlier on Friday.

The bill would provide exceptions if the mother’s life is at risk and for fatal fetal anomalies up to 20 weeks post-fertilization. It would also allow exceptions for some abortions if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.

Indiana presently allows abortions up to 20 weeks after fertilization (or 22 weeks after the mother’s last menstrual period). The new law will go into effect on September 15.

The Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate a federal right to abortion sent the issue back to the states, and several Republican leaders have pledged to take action to curtail access to the procedure. West Virginia also has reconvened a special session, though its near-total abortion ban remains in limbo after the Republican-led legislature could not come to a consensus and adjourned, leaving abortion legal up until 20 weeks post-fertilization. And in Kansas, voters this week handily defeated an effort to amend the state’s constitution to remove the right to abortion.

On Thursday, the Indiana House rejected Republican-sponsored amendments that would have removed the exceptions for rape, incest, and fatal fetal anomalies from the bill. Members of House Republican leadership were divided as Speaker Todd Huston and Speaker Pro Tempore Mike Karickhoff voted against the amendments, while Majority Leader Matt Lehman backed the amendments.

A House amendment also failed on Thursday that would have placed a non-binding question on the 2022 general election ballot as to whether abortion should remain legal in Indiana.

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