The Indiana Senate will vote on a near-total abortion ban

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana state senators are set to meet in a rare session Saturday to vote on a near-total abortion ban, with the vote sending the bill to the House after a contentious week of arguments over whether to allow it. exceptions for rape and incest.

Indiana is one of the first Republican-controlled states to discuss tougher abortion laws after the US Supreme Court last month overturned precedent establishing a national right to abortion. But the GOP split after rape and incest exemptions remained in the bill, and it was unclear whether enough anti-abortion lawmakers would support it for passage.

The proposal would ban abortions once a fertilized egg implants in the uterus. Exceptions would be allowed in cases of rape and incest, but a woman or girl seeking an abortion for any reason would have to sign a notarized affidavit of assault.

Republican Sen. Sue Glick of LaGrange, who authored the abortion bill, declined to speculate on the bill’s chances of passage.

Abortion rights advocates said the bill went too far. Dr. Roberto Darroca, one of several doctors who testified against him, argued for an exception to preserve the mother’s health.

“Decisions must be made quickly. Waiting for legal counsel will freeze that decision-making process,” Darroca said. “Can you imagine the dilemma facing the doctor? The doctor’s freedom over the life of the patient and the child?’

Abortion opponents said it did not go far enough.

Mark Hosbein was among a large crowd at the Statehouse on Tuesday. For the second day in a row in the special legislative session, cheers and chants from protesters were heard during committee hearings in the Senate chambers. Hosbein, of Indianapolis, said he supports an abortion without exceptions — even to protect the life of the mother.

“It’s wrong to try to kill the mother to save the baby and it’s wrong to try to kill the baby to save the mother,” he said. “There are all kinds of limits and restrictions and everything going on here. But I’m here hoping to stop the whole thing.”

A national poll this month found that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe their state should generally allow abortion in certain circumstances, including if a woman’s life is in danger or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. Few believe abortion should always be illegal, according to an Associated Press-NORC Public Affairs Research Center poll.

A vote Thursday afternoon in the Senate on the amendment that would have removed the rape and incest exemptions failed 28-18, with 18 Republicans and 10 Democrats on board to keep the exemptions.

Some of the Republicans who didn’t want the exemptions will have to support the bill to move from the Senate to the GOP-controlled House.

Nicole Erwin, of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates Indiana, said she expected it to pass the Senate, followed by House lawmakers who passed a full ban.

“They’ve been waiting for this moment for far too long,” Ervin said in a statement. “We’ve seen time and time again that we can only expect the worst from them, which means voting to outright ban abortion.”

Anti-abortion groups tried to increase pressure on conservative lawmakers.

If they don’t pass legislation during the three-week session, “they have to explain to voters why they didn’t do anything in Indiana to address this issue,” Mike Fichter, president of Indiana Right to Life, said earlier this week. .

House Republican Speaker Todd Houston declined to talk about what is in the Senate bill, but said he supports the rape and incest exemptions.

“I’ve told myself we’ll deal with it all next week,” he said.

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Arleigh Rodgers is a member of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative corps. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to report on undercover issues. Follow her on Twitter at https://twitter.com/arleighrodgers

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Find complete AP coverage of the overturning of Roe v. Wade at: https://apnews.com/hub/abortion

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