President Joe Biden’s administration on Saturday condemned Indiana’s new abortion ban, calling it another extreme Republican effort to trample on women’s rights.
Indiana on Friday became the first state in the nation to pass such legislation since the US Supreme Court overturned a landmark case in 1973 protecting the right to abortion nationwide.
“The Indiana Legislature took a devastating step as a result of the Supreme Court’s extreme decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate women’s constitutionally protected right to abortion,” said White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “And, it’s another radical step by Republican lawmakers 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.”
The ban, which takes effect on September 15, includes some exceptions. Abortions will be allowed in cases of rape and incest, before 10 weeks after fertilization. to protect the life and physical health of the mother; and if a fetus is diagnosed with a fatal abnormality. Rape and incest victims will not be required to sign a notarized affidavit attesting to an assault, as was once proposed.
Under the bill, abortions can only be performed in hospitals or hospital-owned outpatient centers, meaning all abortion clinics would lose their licenses. A doctor who performs an illegal abortion or fails to file the required reports will lose his medical license.
IU Health, Indiana’s largest health care system, said it is studying the new law.
“It remains a priority at IU Health to ensure that our physicians and patients have clarity when making decisions about pregnancy within the bounds of the law. “We will need the next few weeks to fully understand the terms of the new law and how to incorporate the changes into our medical practice to protect our providers and care for people seeking reproductive health care,” she said in a statement.
The Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce urged the General Assembly to proceed with caution.
“Over the past two weeks, the Indiana General Assembly has debated a meaningful policy change on the issue of abortion in a compressed time frame,” the chamber said in a statement Thursday. “Such speedy legislative process — the rush to advance state policy on broad, complex issues — is, at best, detrimental to Hoosiers and at worst reckless.”
The state Senate approved the ban 28-19 and the Indiana House advanced it 62-38. Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the ban into law late Friday night.
Some senators in both parties complained about the bill’s provisions and the impact it would have on the state, including low-income women and the health care system. Eight Republicans participated and 11 Democrats voted against the bill, though their reasons for defeating the measure were mixed.
Find complete AP coverage of the overturning of Roe v. Wade at: https://apnews.com/hub/abortion