The Indiana State Senate passed a bill that would ban almost all abortions, making it the first such restriction to be proposed since the Supreme Court ruled Roe v. Wade unconstitutional.
The State Senate passed an anti-abortion bill in a special session on Saturday, prohibiting terminations from the moment of conception. The legislation makes exceptions for rape and incest, as well as the mother’s life. The state attorney general will also have the authority to prosecute abortion cases if a county prosecutor categorically refuses to do so. The Senate narrowly approved it by 26-20 votes.
The bill forbids all abortions, with a few exceptions. First, abortion is permitted if the doctor concludes that it is necessary to avert a substantial permanent loss of function of the pregnant woman’s bodily functions.
If the mother is under 16 years old, an abortion is permitted if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, and the unborn child’s gestational age is less than 12 weeks. If a woman who is at least 16 years old becomes pregnant as a result of rape or incest, and her baby has a gestational age of less than eight weeks, she may have an abortion. In both situations, the expectant mother must submit a notarized affidavit, signed under penalties of perjury by the woman, verifying her rape or incest. The physician shall note the affidavit in the woman’s permanent health record in such cases, according to the legislation.
The bill also includes an exemption for “unborn children who are suffering from a congenital or hereditary disease that is incompatible with continued life outside the womb, regardless of when the baby is born.”
Abortions covered by these exceptions are only lawful if they are done by a licensed doctor in a hospital or surgical center; an abortion carried out using an abortifacient drug, it must be taken in the presence of the physician, who must then do an examination and explain the medication to the patient. Unless the pregnancy is expected to result in the death of the mother, consent for the termination is required.
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