Nov 16, 2023 - News

Indiana abortions fall to zero

Russian activist group Pussy Riot films a music video for a song titled, "God Save Abortion," to protest Indiana's near-total abortion ban, on the steps of the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis.

Russian activist group Pussy Riot films a music video for a song titled, "God Save Abortion," to protest Indiana's near-total abortion ban, Tuesday outside the Statehouse. Photo: Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Indiana's near-total abortion ban has functionally ended the procedure.

Why it matters: Women seeking abortions have been traveling out of state since at least late summer — and probably longer.

Driving the news: Doctors performed zero abortions in Indiana's formal health care system in August, the month the new law took effect, per the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights organization that tracks data.

  • That's down from almost 700 in July.

The big picture: Legal abortions increased overall in the year after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, yet decreased sharply in states, including Indiana, with total bans or strict limits.

Catch up fast: The Indiana General Assembly last year passed a law banning abortion except for cases of serious health risk to the mother and for a "lethal fetal anomaly" up to 20 weeks gestational age.

  • It also allows exceptions for victims of rape and incest, but only up to 10 weeks.

Between the lines: So far, data does not show those exceptions coming into play.

The intrigue: The number of abortions was already falling in the first six months of this year in Indiana as patients and health care providers braced for the new law.

Meanwhile, border state Illinois took steps to make abortion easier there just as the Indiana law took effect, per the Chicago Sun-Times.

Zoom in: Illinois recorded a rise of 21,500 abortions between July 2022 and June 2023, the largest increase in the U.S. over that period, Axios Jason Millman writes.

The latest: Indiana abortion providers amended their lawsuit over the state's abortion ban, arguing parts of the law are unconstitutionally narrow and unnecessary.

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