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What Indiana’s abortion ban means as state approves post-Roe legislation

Indiana has become the first state in the country to introduce new legislation restricting access to abortion following the landmark decision of the United States Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the new law on Friday after clearing the GOP-controlled State House without Democratic support, while nine Republicans also opposed it, arguing it was too tough or not tough enough.

Holcomb and anti-abortion advocates welcomed the legislation, but it was condemned by Democrats and abortion rights supporters.

Here’s an overview of how Indiana law works.

When will the law come into effect?

Indiana’s new law restricting abortions passed the State House 62 to 38 and the State Senate 28 to 19 and was quickly signed by Governor Holcomb, but it did not will come into force on September 15.

The state passed the bill after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned landmark 1973 abortion rights rulings Roe vs. Wade and 1992 Family planning c. Casey in an opinion issued on June 24.

What are the exceptions?

The new law is a nearly complete ban on abortions in Indiana, but it contains some exceptions and is less restrictive than some anti-abortion advocates might have wished.

The law allows abortions in cases of rape or incest up to 10 weeks after fertilization. Victims of rape or incest will not be required to sign a notarized affidavit stating that they were assaulted, which had previously been proposed.

Abortions will also be permitted to protect the life of the woman and if the fetus has a fatal abnormality.

Will abortion clinics close?

Recently passed legislation requires that abortions be performed only in hospitals or hospital-owned outpatient centers. This will effectively mean that abortion clinics in Indiana will have to close because they will lose their licenses.

Doctors also risk losing their medical license if they perform an illegal abortion or fail to complete required paperwork. This part of the law is stronger than previous Indiana legislation that said doctors “could” lose their license under these circumstances.


Governor Holcomb praised the new legislation in a statement released shortly after signing the bill, saying he had “clearly stated that I would be prepared to support legislation that has made strides in the protection of life” after deer was overthrown.

The Governor said he was “personally proudest of every Hoosier who has come forward to bravely share their perspective in a debate that is not expected to end any time soon. For my part as Governor, I will continue to keep an ear open.”

In contrast, the Indiana Democratic Party said the law was “the worst form of government overreach and will put the lives of women and girls across the state at risk.”

An abortion rights protester shouts at a group of anti-abortion activists at the Indiana State Capitol building on July 25, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. A new law restricting abortion will go into effect in Indiana on September 15.
Jon Cherry/Getty Images


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