Gov. Holcomb, legislators pass abortion ban bill as first in the nation

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 6:34 PM EDT
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WNDU) - Indiana became the first state in the nation to pass new legislation to restrict abortion access since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Friday night the senate debated and shared closing argument for nearly four hours.

The bill would ban “95 plus percent” of all abortions, except in cases of rape, incest and serious health risks to the mother.

Those health risks, however, exclude emotional and psychological conditions.

Doctors would still be able to perform abortions in hospitals and surgical centers.

The bill easily passed in the Indiana House of Representatives Friday afternoon.

The abortion ban bill was approved by a vote of 62 to 38.

Among those voting yes were DeVon, King, Pressel, Teshka, and Wesco.

Among those voting no were Bauer, Dvorak, and Nisly.

A lot of mixed feelings were shared from those on both sides of the debate.

“The last two weeks have changed me profoundly. I moved in my ideology in ways I never imagined, and I’m now open to applause and criticism from both sides. That’s okay, but here’s what I know for now and I hope that you can respect it,” said Rep. Ann Vermilion, (R) Marion. “I believe that we have a right to save that unborn baby and I believe we must legislate to protect that life, but I am equally a pro-woman, pro-choice Republican woman and I believe that no government should take away a woman’s ability for safe medical care during an unwanted, unplanned pregnancy.”

Rep. Vermilion is a hospital administrator who wondered whether bill supporters were seeing the forest through the trees regarding the apparent unwillingness of health care professionals to work in a state that bans abortion. “I believe that the lord Jesus would never call a woman a murderer, a pro-abortion, nor a baby killer. I despite those words. I think we have to get rid of them. I think they’re purposeful and I think they’re propaganda and I don’t think they’re love.”

Meantime Rep. Maureen Bauer, (D) South Bend fought back tears and clutched a tissue as she addressed fellow lawmakers. “You may not have thought that these women would have shown up. Maybe that we weren’t paying attention to what this body is doing, but people in the State of Indiana are getting involved in politics as if their futures depended on it. I have seen rallies in my community of South Bend, Mishawaka, places like Elkhart, Goshen, Osceola, LaPorte, women and girls, brothers and husbands sanding by their wives, fathers speaking up for their daughters from every corner of this state, people are demanding that their voices be heard by this legislature to demand equal rights under the law. To have the same control over their body that Is guaranteed to any man in Indiana.”

“It has to damage her body. Forgot the damage to her mind or her emotion. It’s just her body we are worried about...Nobody’s taking credit for this legislation. Not one time have I asked, have we asked who came up with this language. It’s always somebody else did it. If it’s such a good piece of legislation, take ownership of it,” said Senator Greg Taylor (D).

“Abortion is the intentional taking of a human life. The result of an abortion is the death of a child. I believe in the sanctity of life and I believe life begins at conception, I believe life is a gift,” said Rep. Joanna King (R).

“It’s really important to still working on changing hearts and minds and offering support for women and we want to be on the frontlines of cultural change in this community,” said Melanie Garcia Lyon, Executive Director of Voices for Life.

Governor Eric Holcomb signed the bill late Friday night.

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