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Indiana becomes first state in nation to approve near-total abortion ban post Roe

Indiana Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill Friday evening prohibiting most abortions.

The new law bans the procedure except in cases of rape, incest and to protect the life and physical health of the mother. The rape and incest exceptions only apply in the first 10 weeks post-fertilization. Victims would not be required to sign a notarized affidavit attesting to an attack, which had previously been proposed.

Abortions will also be allowed if a fetus is diagnosed with a lethal anomaly.

According to the bill, abortions can only be performed in hospitals or outpatient centers owned by hospitals. This means all abortion clinics would lose their licenses. A doctor who performs an illegal abortion or fails to file necessary reports will also lose their medical license.

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Indiana is the first state in the nation to approve new legislation restricting abortion access since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. It became the first state to pass a ban through both chambers of the Legislature after West Virginia lawmakers passed up the opportunity to be the first on July 29.

“Following the overturning of Roe, I stated clearly that I would be willing to support legislation that made progress in protecting life,” Holcomb said in a statement. “In my view, [the abortion law] accomplishes this goal.”

The Indiana Senate approved the legislation 28 to 19 on Friday, just hours after the House passed it by a 62 to 38 vote.

GOP Rep. Wendy McNamara told reporters after the vote in the House that the legislation makes Indiana “one of the most pro-life states in the nation.”

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And fellow Republican Rep. Ann Vermilion slammed the members of her party who have called women “murderers” for receiving an abortion.

“I think that the Lord’s promise is for grace and kindness,” she said. “He would not be jumping to condemn these women.”

In the Senate, eight Republicans joined all 11 Democrats in voting against the bill.

Democratic Sen. Jean Breaux wore a green ribbon on her lapel on Friday to signify her support for abortion access.

“We are backsliding on democracy,” she said. “What other freedoms, what other liberties are on the chopping block, waiting to be stripped away?”

GOP Sen. Mike Bohacek, whose 21-year-old-daughter has Down syndrome, said the legislation does not have adequate protections for women with disabilities who are raped.

Republican Sen. Sue Glick said she does not believe “all states will come down at the same place” but that most Indiana residents support aspects of the bill.

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The ban will take effect on September 15.

“To the people of Indiana, let me assure you that the democratic process marches on, and you should continue to reach out to all your elected representatives to have your voice heard,” Holcomb said in his statement. “Looking back, 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. For my part as your governor, I will continue to keep an open ear.”

Indiana Senate Democrats lashed over the ban on Twitter.

The group wrote, “A massive government overreach. State-mandated pregnancy. A rollback of women’s rights. A failure of democracy. Call it what you want – it’s a stain on our state.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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