Indiana Enacts First Abortion Ban After End of Roe

Indiana became the first state in the nation to enact a near-total ban on abortions after the June ruling by the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the bill into law Friday evening. The legislation bans abortions in the state, with exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest and when the procedure is necessary to save a mother’s life. Abortion is also permitted in cases where an unborn child is medically diagnosed with a lethal defect.

Rape and incest victims were originally required by the bill to sign sworn affidavits verifying a criminal act. That requirement was removed through an amendment.

Abortions that are permitted under exceptions can only be performed by hospitals or their outpatient centers. That brings an end to licensing of all abortion clinics in the state. A doctor who performs illegal abortions or who does not file required reports for permitted procedures will stand to lose their medical license.

The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization issued on June 24 expressly reversed Roe, returning the authority to the states to individually decide how to regulate or prohibit abortions.

Indiana became the first state to approve new legislation since Dobbs was issued. Gov. Holcomb issued a statement saying that he said that he would be willing to sign a bill protecting unborn life as soon as the decision was issued. He added that the new law “accomplishes that goal.”

Holcomb added that he encouraged every citizen to reach out to their elected representatives to “have your voice heard.” He added that he was “personally most proud of each Hoosier who came forward to courageously share their views.” He said that he intends to “keep an open ear.”

The Indiana state Senate approved the bill on Friday by a 28-19 vote, after the state House had passed it earlier in the day, 62-38. It went to Holcomb for his signature later that afternoon.

State Rep. Wendy McNamara (R) told the media Friday afternoon that Indiana has taken a stand as “one of the most pro-life states in the nation.”

Of the 19 “no” votes cast in the state Senate, eight were cast by Republicans. State Sen. Jean Breaux (D) voted against the bill and told reporters that the state is “backsliding on democracy,” despite the fact the bill was obviously approved by democratically-elected representatives.

The law goes into effect across Indiana on September 15.