House committee passes abortion ban amendment

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 7:09 PM EDT
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WNDU) - An Indiana house committee wasted no time making changes to a bill that would ban most abortions.

The House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code approved the amendment before the start of a public hearing on the bill that lasted some nine hours and included the voices of up to 140 speakers.

The amendment would put an end to abortion clinics in that it requires both medical and surgical abortions to occur at a hospital or at an outpatient facility that is owned by a hospital.

That provision was criticized for its potential to close facilities that now offer medical services and contraceptives along with abortions.

The amendment also adjusts the time frame during which pregnant victims of rape and incest will be allowed to get an abortion. The committee chose to set the limit at 10 weeks.

“I do want to address these time limits. They are not based on scientific or medical reasons, and they create an arbitrary cut off for victims of rape and incest regardless of their age,” Dr. Tracy Wilkinson with the IU School of Medicine told the committee. “If a minor is raped and becomes pregnant as a result of that rape, they will have to first recognize that they are pregnant. As my colleague Dr. Ott just explained, we know that teenagers are less likely to recognize that they’re pregnant due to irregular periods, low health literacy, shame, and guilt. In addition, we know that minors that are pregnant as a result of rape and abuse are less likely to realize they are pregnant and receive care due to the trauma and stigma that they face.”

The committee believes that if the bill is passed it would stop “95 plus percent” of the abortions now being carried out in Indiana.

Still, activists on both sides are reluctant to endorse it.

One committee member on Tuesday asked one speaker who made it known he preferred an abortion ban with no exceptions: “Do you think that we should pass anything when we have the opportunity to do that?”

The response was: “If it was me, what I would tell you is I would not vote and take part in approving something that’s still murder. I would not have my hand on ink approving murder.”

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