Lawmakers and leaders react to Senate approval of Indiana abortion restrictions

INDIANAPOLIS — Just before 10 p.m. Friday night, the Indiana Senate approved Senate Bill 1 and sent it to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s desk.

Shortly after 11 p.m., Holcomb announced his support and signature of the law.

SB 1 outlines a near-total ban on abortion in Indiana with exceptions for rape, incest, and mother’s life.

Local and national leaders and legislators are speaking out after the law is passed.

“Across the county, states with abortion bans are facing numerous lawsuits and these laws are being blocked in court. The Indiana ACLU exists to defend the rights of Hoosiers, which are protected by the United States and the state constitution. You can guarantee that our legal team will work with partners to review every legal avenue available to defend access to abortion here in Indiana.”

It’s a dark day in the state of Indiana. The General Assembly passed an abortion ban, turning the clock back 50 years on Hoosier’s fundamental right to control her own body. SB 1 will force women to either travel hundreds of miles or conceive against their will, with life-altering consequences and serious health risks. This is a ruthless attack on our freedom.

Indiana is once again making history by passing legislation that will set our state back. Despite an unprecedented turnout from anti-abortion Hoosiers, Indiana is the first state in the country to enact a new abortion ban since the Supreme Court Roe v. Wade lifted.

Hoosiers have a constitutional right to privacy, and these deeply private, personal, and unique choices should be made by women in consultation with their physicians. What is right for one family may not be right for another.”

Katie Blair, Advocacy and Public Policy Director at the Indiana ACLU

“We believe that significant changes to SB1 in the House of Representatives will provide renewed hope that over 95 percent of Indiana’s 8,414 abortions will end if enacted in certain circumstances, only performed in hospitals or on-hospital surgical centers in the law.

However, we are disappointed that an amendment to limit abortions to the life of the mother fell short in a roll-call vote. Still, we applaud the members of the House of Representatives who support the amendment for doing everything they can to limit SB1’s exceptions. We will continue to work towards building consensus in the future that all lives must be valued, regardless of the means of conception.

While we cannot fully support the amended SB1 due to its exceptions on rape, incest, and fatal fetal abnormalities, we recognize that the way forward is to either capitalize on the potential to end the vast majority of abortions in Indiana now, or continue to allow all abortions under current law, making Indiana a destination state for abortions and further increasing the number of abortions.

We encourage Governor Holcomb to sign SB1 into law. It’s time for Indiana to move forward in love and compassion by expanding protections for unborn children.”

Indiana’s right to life

“I am deeply disappointed that the overwhelming majority voted to pass Senate Bill 1 and turn back the clock 50 years. They chose to listen to a special interest group, rather than everyday Hoosiers, who oppose this cruel bill. The implications of this legislation for women are endless, even deadly. That’s no exaggeration — in a state with the third highest maternal mortality rate in the country, this ban will kill women. The majority do not end abortions, only safe ones. It is my firm belief that this bill denies a woman’s physical autonomy and right to make her own health decisions.

During the testimony, we heard many faith leaders—Christians and non-Christians alike—vote strong opposition to this law. SB 1 undermines the many religions in Indiana that have different thoughts and beliefs about life and abortion. Under our laws, no religion should trump any other.

After all, not a single Hoosier actually testified in favor of the bill. The people of Indiana are against SB 1 and we should have thrown the bill out in the Senate. Unfortunately, we did not, and I encourage Hoosiers to reach out to Governor Holcomb and encourage him to veto this cruel bill.”

Senator JD Ford (D – Indianapolis)

“I am very disappointed that Statehouse Republicans passed this extreme legislation that restricts reproductive rights in Indiana, disregards science and medicine, and imposes a religious perspective on all Hoosiers, regardless of their religious or non-religious values. In a pluralistic society, legislators should not impose their religious beliefs to limit a citizen’s civil liberties and liberties. SB 1 is extreme government overreach and an unfunded mandate in a state ill-equipped to serve Hoosier children, foster youth and adopted children, and already ranks in the bottom ten nationwide for infant and maternal health . I do not believe that the God of any faith encourages rape or incest, or that a child should be forced by the government to bear another child from these horrific acts. I trust that Hoosier women will make these decisions in consultation with their doctors and their faith when they choose to make health decisions for women rather than a male-dominated, non-medical general assembly. Lawmakers shouldn’t play God or politicize women’s health care. I stand with all Hoosier women and will continue to stand up for their freedoms and civil liberties.”

Sen. Fady Qaddoura (D – Indianapolis)

“Like the majority of Senate District 42 voters who took part in my poll, I believe that every mother and unborn child is worthy of the dignity and protection of the law, and today the Indiana legislature made great strides in making that through.” to secure Act 1 enrolled by the Senate.

The bill includes time-limited exceptions for rape, incest, maternal life or physical health, and fatal fetal abnormalities.

Senate Republicans understand that Indiana residents need additional assistance, which is why we passed a companion piece of legislation — Senate Enrolled Act 2, which allocates funds to family support programs and provides residents with financial relief through an additional automatic taxpayer refund.

As we see more babies being born in a post-deer world, Indiana must do what it can to support women in having and raising healthy children and helping them avoid unexpected pregnancies through contraception and education. As a result, Indiana will continue to be a home for many, where they feel valued and supported to live a fulfilling life.”

Sen. Jean Leising (R – Oldenburg)

“This is a monumental day for the unborn in Indiana. By closing abortion clinics and limiting abortions to the most heartbreaking cases, we are making massive strides for the pro-life movement. These steps, combined with increasing funding for pregnancy services and reducing the financial burden of adoption, enable Indiana to be a shining example of moving beyond abortion and empowering mothers and families to have happy to raise healthy children.”

Sen. Jack E. Sandlin (R – Indianapolis)

“Tonight I voted no because it doesn’t strike the right balance for women to make their own health decisions while protecting the life of the unborn child. Also, the time allotted for the exceptions for victims of rape or incest and for fatal fetal anomalies is far less than I think appropriate.”

Senator Kyle Walker (R – Lawrence)

“This attack on maternal health is outrageous and we call on Governor Holcomb to side with the majority and veto SB 1. This abortion ban would deny Hoosiers the care they need, with disastrous effects on Indiana’s already dire maternal death crisis. The Indiana government’s interference in private decisions about when and whether to have children is unscrupulous and unacceptable. We cannot allow extremist lawmakers in Indiana to take control of our own bodies from us. We must put the people of Indiana first and end this ban here, now and permanently.”

Jennifer M. Allen, CEO of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates

“If this body really believed in liberty, autonomy and small government, this bill would have been dead when it arrived. It would not have even been considered, let alone passed. By the looks of it, today marks a throwback to history, to a past where women’s lives and destinies were dictated by their government. Republicans appear determined to impose their religious beliefs, moral crusade, and their own backward stance on Hoosier in the face of overwhelming opposition. Meanwhile, Republicans, as they rush through the abolition of women’s rights and ignore 50 years of legal precedent, say “next session” on Democrat pushes to improve support and services for pregnant women and infants. Republicans’ vision for our state and their political stance has never been clearer: Welcome to the new Indiana, where forced births are a moral imperative and your individual rights are subject to extremist encroachments by big governments.”

Sen. Tim Lanane (D-Anderson)

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