Indiana Special Session Day 3: Abortion ban bill debate heats up
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The Indiana State Senate’s parliamentarian was dragged into the debate over abortion on Wednesday.
There was some rule wrangling as the body met to accept a committee report on the abortion ban bill.
The majority report was adopted and is now eligible for second reading amendments on the full senate floor.
Senate Democrats took the unusual step of offering a minority report and were thwarted in their attempts to talk about it on the senate floor.
“I’d like to first of all question when we are going to hear this minority report since it’s being tabled,” asked Ind. Sen. Greg Taylor, (D) Indianapolis.
“Senator Taylor, this is not a motion to table that report. It is a motion to lay the report on the table, which means it’s just filed and no further discussion about it,” Responded Ind. Sen. Rodric Bray, (R) Martinsville.
“At any time Mr. President?” Taylor followed.
“That is correct,” Bray responded.
Sen. Taylor then explained, “All I wanted to do today is give this body an opportunity to listen to the voice of the minority. Well, this has solidified my opinion on what we are doing today and in this special session more than anything I heard in the past two days. You don’t care about the minority. You care about power and that’s exactly what you did today by denying my opportunity to speak in this body. And you showed your power and control. Congratulations.”
The minority report is now part of the public record. It draws attention to a couple of amendments that Democrats weren’t allowed to present in committee.
One would allow access to abortion when the mother’s “physical health” was threatened by the pregnancy. The current language demands that the mother’s life be in danger.
Another amendment hints at a possible religious exemption to an abortion ban. It states that if one’s religious beliefs hold that human life begins at a particular stage of fetal development, any statute that prohibits abortion before that stage burdens that person’s exercise of free religion.
The language is similar to that used in the writing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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