Indiana this weekend has passed a near-total ban on abortion, the first since since Roe v. Wade was overturned in June.
The Indianapolis Star reported that Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed Senate Bill 1, which prohibits abortion at any stage of gestation except in cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal anomalies or when the pregnant person’s life is at risk. He signed the bill within an hour of its passage late Friday night.
“Following the overturning of Roe, I stated clearly that I would be willing to support legislation that made progress in protecting life,” Holcomb said, according to the newspaper. “In my view, SEA 1 accomplishes this goal following its passage in both chambers of the Indiana General Assembly with a solid majority of support.”
It passed the Indiana Senate 28-19 and the House 62-38. The GOP has a supermajority in both houses of the legislature.
Planned Parenthood Illinoi Action (PPIL) condemned the new law.
“This dangerous ban is another devastating blow for the Midwest, which is quickly becoming a vast desert for abortion care,” said PPIL CEO Jennifer Welch. “Now people in Indiana are forced to either travel to a state like Illinois for care, seek an alternative means of ending their pregnancy or remain pregnant against their will.”
Planned Parenthood of Illinois had already been preparing for an influx of patients in advance of the expected overturn. Welch said a new clinic in Flossmoor, near the Illinois/Indiana state line has already seen its patient load triple since the ruling on June 25.
“This is clear evidence that abortion restrictions and bans do not stop people from having abortions; restrictions and bans only make it harder for people to access safe reproductive health care where they live,” Welch said.
The Star reported that some in the legislature tried to remove all exceptions from the bill.
“While we are disappointed that an amendment to limit abortions to only the life of the mother fell short in a roll call vote, we applaud those House members supporting the amendment for doing all they could to limit SB1’s exceptions,” Indiana Right to Life said in a statement. “We will continue to work to build consensus going forward that all lives are to be valued, regardless of the means of one’s conception.”
Illinois is one of only two Midwestern states that have laws protecting abortion access.