On Friday, Indiana became the first state in the nation to approve abortion restrictions since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb quickly signed a near-total ban on the procedure shortly after lawmakers approved it.
The ban is set to take effect on Sept. 12, and it includes some exceptions. Abortions would be permitted in cases of rape and incest, before 10 weeks post-fertilization, to protect the life and health of the mother, and if the fetus is diagnosed with a lethal abnormality.
According to POLITICO, the bill states that abortions can only be performed in hospitals or outpatient centers owned by hospitals, meaning all abortion clinics would lose their licenses. A doctor who performs an illegal abortion or doesn’t file the required reports must also lose their medical license.
Holcomb’s approval came right after the Indiana senate approved the ban 28-19 and the House members advanced it 62-38.
“I am personally most proud of each Hoosier who came forward to courageously share their views in a debate that is unlikely to cease any time soon,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said in the statement. “For my part as your governor, I will continue to keep an open ear.”
Indiana was among the earliest Republican-run state legislatures to debate tighter abortion laws after the Supreme court ruling that removed constitutional processions for the procedure. It is now the first state to pass a ban through both chambers.
Republican Rep. Wendy McNamara of Evansville, who sponsored the bill, told reporters after the House vote that the legislation “makes Indiana one of the most pro-life states in the nation.”
Not all the senators were pleased with the passing of this bill. Eight Republicans joined all 11 Democrats in voting against the bill, though their reasons to oppose the measure were mixed.
“We are backsliding on democracy,” said Democratic Sen. Jean Breaux of Indianapolis. “What other freedoms, what other liberties are on the chopping block, waiting to be stripped away?”
Outside the House of chambers, abortion-rights activists chanted over lawmakers’ remarks, carrying signs like “Roe roe roe your vote” and “Build this Wall between church and state.”
The House also rejected a Democratic proposal to place a non-binding question on the statewide November election ballot: “Shall abortion remain legal in Indiana?”