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Indiana becomes first state to enact near-total abortion ban since Roe

Indiana became the first state since the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade to vote for an almost total ban on abortion.

Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed Senate Registration Bill 1 within an hour of the bill passing the two Republican-controlled houses in a special session on Friday.

The bill passed in the House, 62-38, in the afternoon and later in the Senate, 28-19. No Democrats voted in favor of the legislation, with some Republicans joining them.

Some exceptions are included in the abortion ban, such as rape or incest ten weeks after fertilization, endangering the life of the mother, and if the fetus has a fatal diagnosis. Under these exceptions, the procedure is only allowed up to 20 weeks after fertilization.

If an abortion is to be performed under one of these exceptions, it is only permitted to take place in a hospital or in a facility owned by a hospital, the Associated Press (AP) reported. This means that all abortion clinics will lose their license, the news agency noted.

If a doctor performs an illegal abortion or fails to properly file required reports, they risk losing their medical license.

Anti-abortion protesters attempt to distribute literature as they stand in the aisle of a family planning clinic in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/File Michael Conroy)

The law will come into force on September 15.

Indiana’s current abortion law allows the procedure to take place up to 22 weeks after the mother’s last menstrual cycle, CNN noted.

“Following the overthrow of deer, I have made it clear that I would be prepared to support legislation that makes progress in protecting life,” Holcomb said in a statement after the legislation passed. “I am personally very proud of every Hoosier who has come forward to bravely share their perspective in a debate that is not expected to end any time soon.”

After the bill passed the House, state Rep. Wendy McNamara (right), sponsor of Senate Enrollment Bill 1, said the legislation “makes Indiana the one of the most pro-life states in the country”.

The White House released a statement on Saturday, criticizing the legislation as “another sweeping step by Republican lawmakers to suppress women’s reproductive rights and freedoms.”

While many states had trigger laws that went into effect following the Supreme Court ruling in late June in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health OrganizationIndiana had no trigger law in place and became the first state to pass legislation restricting abortion.

The bill follows after the West Virginia legislature failed to ban abortion last week and Kansas voters overwhelmingly rejected a provision to strip abortion protections from the state constitution on Tuesday.

You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.


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