Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb on Friday signed into law a bill that would ban abortion in the vast majority of cases — the first US state to pass a restrictive law against the procedure since the Supreme Court ruling. americana on Roe v. Wade.
The Indiana House and Senate passed the GOP-sponsored bill this week.
The bill provides exceptions for when the mother’s life is at risk and for fatal fetal anomalies, up to 20 weeks after fertilization. It also allows exceptions for some abortions if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
Indiana currently allows the procedure up to 20 weeks after fertilization (or 22 weeks after the mother’s last menstrual period). The new law will take effect on September 15.
On Thursday, the state House rejected Republican-sponsored amendments that would remove exceptions for rape, incest and fatal fetal anomalies from the bill.
Members of the House Republican leadership were divided when President Todd Huston voted against the amendments, while Majority Leader Matt Lehman supported them.
Friday’s vote in the state House followed an emotional debate during which cheers and boos from protesters could be heard amid speeches by lawmakers.
Republican Representative John Jacob, who supports a total ban on abortion, said on the floor that he would not support the bill because it “regulates abortion, which is the murder of babies,” while urging his colleagues to repent before God.
In response to Jacob, Democratic Representative Renee Pack spoke of her own abortion in 1990, when she served in the US military.
“It took me a while to get to the Chamber for my colleagues to call me a murderer. I had to receive that kind of abuse in this room, in this Chamber. Lord, I’m not a murderer, and neither are my sisters; We are pro choice. That’s what we are. We believe we have command over our own bodies.”
During the debate, lawmakers on both sides lamented the lack of time to consider such a difficult topic. “We’re trying, we’re all discerning, none of us are sleeping, none of us are doing well,” Republican Representative Ann Vermilion said on the floor before the vote, emotional.
“All 150 of us wept this week and are trying to do the will of the people while being equally true to our faith and our core belief,” Vermilion said.
Particular attention was paid to Indiana after a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio crossed state lines to have an abortion in June following the Supreme Court ruling.
The Indiana doctor who provided services to the 10-year-old girl said the new Indiana law “will harm women” in the state.
“Medicine is not about exceptions,” said Dr. Caitlin Bernard to CNN on Friday. “I can’t even begin to say how many patients I see in unique situations who can’t fit these exceptions, who can’t have a list of what I can and can’t do. They can’t wait to check with a lawyer, I need to be able to care for patients when and where they need care.”
Source: CNN Brasil