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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Indiana Senate committee adds more restrictions to its nearly total abortion ban

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Indiana Senate Republicans added further restrictions to their proposed abortion ban July 26.

The measure, SB 1, bans abortions except in cases of rape and incest and when the life of the pregnant person is at risk.

But a Senate committee changed the rape and incest exception. Now, an abortion could only be performed if the pregnancy is less than eight weeks “post-fertilization.” If the pregnant person is younger than 16 years old, then they can access abortion in the cases of rape and incest up to 12 weeks after fertilization.

Democrats, like Sen. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson), called those time limits arbitrary.

“If you’re wanting to basically say you can’t get an abortion if you’re raped, this is probably the way to do it,” Lanane said.

Democrats questioned Sen. Sue Glick (R-LaGrange), the bill’s author, about the time limits. She said eight weeks is soon enough for a 16-year-old rape or incest victim to know they’re pregnant.

“You have to also understand, they’ve been through a traumatic experience,” Glick said. “So, they should have, at that point, reported it to someone.”

That runs contrary to expert testimony lawmakers heard during the committee hearing.

The bill is now headed to the full Senate, which is scheduled to consider further amendments July 28. One Republican — Sen. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper) — joined Democrats in voting against committee passage of the measure. Messmer said every anti-abortion organization that contacted him about the legislation urged him to vote no.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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