Updated Aug 6, 2022 - Health

'Not her body, not her choice': Indiana legislature passes near-total abortion ban

Abortion rights protesters march outside the Indiana State Capitol building.
Abortion rights protesters march outside the Indiana State Capitol building. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Indiana became the first state in the country since Roe. v. Wade was overturned to approve a near-total abortion ban Friday night.

The big picture: The ban comes after the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade sent the issue of abortion rights back to the states. Many Republican states have already begun taking action to ban the procedure, but Indiana is the first to pass a bill following the ruling.

Zoom in: Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the bill into law late Friday night after the Indiana House and Senate passed the bill earlier that day.

  • The ban takes effect beginning Sept. 15.
  • Under the bill, abortions can be performed at hospitals or outpatient centers owned by hospitals. This means abortion clinics will lose licenses in Indiana.
  • Doctors who perform an illegal abortion, or fail to report them, will also lose their licenses under the new law, the Associated Press reports.

Yes, but: The ban includes some exceptions, including cases of rape, incest, if the fetus is diagnosed to be a lethal anomaly and cases to protect the life of the mother, AP reports.

Of note: Indiana currently allows abortions up to 20 weeks post-fertilization (or 22 weeks after the mother's last menstrual period), CNN reports.

What they're saying: White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement Saturday that the Indiana legislature "took a devastating step" to "eliminate women’s constitutionally-protected right to abortion."

  • She said the vote is "another radical step by Republican legislators to take away women’s reproductive rights and freedom, and put personal health care decisions in the hands of politicians rather than women and their doctors."
  • Gov. Holcomb said in the statement that he was "most proud of each Hoosier who came forward to courageously share their views in a debate that is unlikely to cease any time soon. For my part as your governor, I will continue to keep an open ear.”
  • Rep. John Jacob (R), who previously supported a total abortion ban, said the abortion bill wasn't strong enough, the Indy Star reports.
  • "The body inside of the mom's body is not her body," he said, per the Washington Post. Let me repeat that: The body inside of the mom's body is not her body. Not her body, not her choice."
  • Rep. Wendy McNamara (R), who sponsored the bill, said the new legislation “makes Indiana one of the most pro-life states in the nation.”
  • Rep. Renee Pack (D) told the chamber she had an abortion in 1990 and she had to choose between having an abortion or continuing her military career, the Indy Star reports.
  • "Sir, I am not a murderer," she said. "And my sisters are not murderers, either. We are pro-choice. That is what we are."
  • Sen. Mike Bohacek (R) could not finish his testimony about the bill as he spoke about protecting rape victims with disabilities.

What to watch: Eli Lilly and Co., which is one of Indiana's largest employers, said in reaction to the ban that it will be “forced to plan for more employment growth outside of our home state.”

  • Jon Mills, a spokesman for engine maker Cummins, which employs 10,000 people in Indiana, said in a statement to the New York Times that the law will "impact our people and impede our ability to attract and retain top talent.”
  • Mills told NYT that “prior to, and during the legislative process, we shared our concerns about this legislation with legislative leadership.”

Go deeper ... Where abortion has been banned now that Roe v. Wade is overturned

Editor's note: This story was updated with a statement from the White House press secretary and to add quotes from Jon Mills.

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