Indiana’s abortion law has political implications for the country


Indiana’s new blanket ban on abortion had immediate political and economic repercussions Saturday, as some of the state’s largest employers contested the restrictions, Democratic leaders worked out ways to amend or repeal the law, and abortion rights activists made plans to arrange alternative sites for women seeking abortions. Procedures.

The Indiana law, which was passed by the Republican-controlled state legislature late Friday night and signed by Governor Eric Holcomb (right) moments later, was the first ban passed since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned it. Raw vs. Wade In June, abortion was celebrated by enemies as a major victory.

On August 5, Indiana lawmakers passed a near-total ban on abortion. The bill was signed into law by Governor Eric Holcomb (right). (Video: The Washington Post)

It also came just three days after voters in traditional conservative Kansas surprised the political world Taking an entirely different path, he refused to hold a ballot that would have stripped abortion rights protections from that state’s constitution.

The Indiana vote capped weeks of charged debate in Indianapolis, where activists demonstrated at the state capitol and launched intense lobbying while Republican lawmakers debated how far the law should go in restricting abortion. Some abortion opponents have hailed the law’s passage as a roadmap for conservatives in other states pushing for similar bans in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion. Rowhich for the past fifty years has guaranteed the right to abortion care.

Indiana’s ban, which goes into effect September 15, allows abortion only in cases of rape, incest, or fatal fetal malformation, or when the procedure is necessary to prevent severe health risks or death. Indiana joins nine other states to ban abortion starting with conception.

The new law represents a victory for anti-abortion forces, who have been working for decades to stop the procedure. But its passage occurred after disagreements among some abortion opponents, some of whom believed that the bill did not go far enough in stopping the procedure.

After the legislation was signed into law, Eli Lilly, the drug giant and one of the state’s largest employers, warned that such laws would hurt employee recruitment efforts and said the company would look elsewhere for its expansion plans.

“We are concerned that this law will impede Lilly and Indiana’s ability to attract diverse scientific, engineering and commercial talent from around the world,” the company said in a statement released on Saturday. “Given this new law, we will have to plan for further employment growth outside of our home state.”

See where abortion laws have changed

Salesforce, the tech giant with 2,300 employees in Indiana, previously offered to move employees in states with abortion restrictions, although on Saturday it did not respond to a request for comment on the Indiana law.

The Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce also warned that the ban was passed too quickly and without regard to how it would affect the state’s tourism industry.

“Such an accelerated legislative process — the hasty advancing state policy on broad and complex issues — is, at best, detrimental to Hoosiers, and at worst, reckless,” the Chamber said in a statement. Tourism and conference investments?”

Indiana lost 12 agreements and an estimated $60 million in business after it passed the Religious Freedom Act in 2015, according to local tourism industry estimates.

Indiana is the first state to ban abortion by the legislature since the Supreme Court’s decision in June to overturn it Roe vs. Wade. Other countries enacted “animation laws” that came into effect with the fall of ru.

Indiana may be just the beginning. Abortion rights advocates estimate that abortion can be restricted or severely prohibited in as many as half of the 50 states.

An official with Indiana Right to Life, an anti-abortion group in Indiana, said the new law will end 95 percent of abortions in Indiana and close all abortion clinics in Indiana. Unless abortion activists go to court and issue an advance injunction.

Indiana has considered abortion restrictions for years, although it has remained a state where many in the area travel for abortion care. Elizabeth Nash, a policy expert at the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion, said that many neighboring states — including Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia — are also pushing for abortion bans, as patients may have to travel hundreds of miles in some cases to get care. rights. Patients in Ohio will not be able to go to Indiana to arrive. They’ll have to get, maybe, to Illinois or Michigan,” she said.

The Indiana measure passed just weeks after national attention was focused on a 10-year-old girl who was raped in Ohio, where abortion was banned after six weeks, and traveled to Indiana to terminate a pregnancy.

Caitlin Bernard, the physician who performed the abortion in Indianapolis, tweeted Saturday that she was “devastated” by the legislature’s action. “How many girls and women will be harmed before they realize it must be reversed? I will continue to fight for them with every fiber of my being,” she wrote.

Doctors are reluctant to work in anti-abortion countries

Indiana’s action drew swift condemnation from national Democrats, who sought to portray Republicans as abortion extremists — citing a Kansas vote earlier this week in which even rural and conservative areas of the state refused to change the state’s constitutional right to abortion.

White House Press Secretary Karen Jean-Pierre said in a statement that the law was “another drastic step by Republican lawmakers to wrest women’s reproductive rights and freedom.”

Democrats hope, however, that they can use what happened in Indiana to portray the entire Republican Party as extreme about abortion.

“This has nothing to do with being ‘pro-life,'” California Governor Gavin Newsom (Democrat) tweeted. “It’s about power and control.”

In Washington, Republican leaders have been largely silent about efforts by Republican-led states to ban abortion. Polls consistently show that a near-total abortion ban such as that in Indiana is unpopular with the general public.

So when Indiana Republicans ban abortion for an entire state, “they’re effectively speaking for all Republicans,” said Martha McKenna, a Democratic political strategist, “which is why I hope it’s a good cause for Democrats in November.”

Another political strategist, Jonathan Levy, who worked for the Kansas Campaign for Constitutional Freedom, which opposes restricting abortion rights, said the Kansas vote showed that extreme anti-abortion stances “will be rejected by Americans across the political spectrum. The American people want lawmakers to focus on how to keep food On the table, keeping the economy afloat, they believe the legislature’s priorities are out of control.

Besides a near-total abortion ban, Indiana Republicans also passed legislation that they said was intended to support pregnant women and mothers, but critics noted that much of the money was directed to support pregnancy crisis centers run by anti-abortion groups.

The bill’s passage left health providers and abortion counseling agencies struggling to see the full impact of the legislation.

Indiana Health University, a major healthcare institution in the state, released a statement saying it was trying to find out what the ban means for doctors and patients.

“It will take the next few weeks to fully understand the terms of the new law and how to incorporate changes in our medical practice to protect our providers and care for people seeking reproductive health,” the health care provider said in a statement.

Meanwhile, activists began discussing plans to raise funds and provide transportation for them Carol McCord, a former Planned Parenthood employee, said those seeking access to abortion after the ban went into effect.

“As this will soon become illegal in Indiana, we are looking at ways to help women travel to get the services they need,” she said. Indiana law was already considered restrictive compared to other states, so about 35 percent of women requesting abortions had already traveled out of the state, said Jessica Marsh Bank, who serves as state program manager for All-Options Pregnancy Resource Center in Bloomington.

State Democratic lawmakers are beginning to strategize Saturday on how to respond, including considering repeal measures and organizing voters to elect lawmakers who favor abortion rights.

“This is a tough time for the state of Indiana,” said Senator Shelley Yoder, assistant chair of the Democratic Caucus. “The plan going forward is to make sure we go out in November and vote on individuals who supported something that only a small minority of Hoosiers wanted.”

Immediately, Yoder said in an interview that she and like-minded state lawmakers are considering action that could nullify the effect of the new law, noting that the legislature has not been formally adjourned.

“We can go back and fix this,” she said, adding that lawmakers are at an early stage of planning how to do it.

Katie Blair, director of advocacy and public policy for the American Civil Liberties Union in Indiana, said Saturday that her organization will consider legal action.

“You can guarantee that our legal team will work with partners to evaluate every legal avenue available to advocate for abortion access here in Indiana,” Blair said in a statement.

Signing the legislation, Holcomb praised the work of lawmakers he called into a special session this summer to find a way to restrict abortion, acknowledging that there are disagreements among those who oppose abortion.

“These actions come after long days of sessions filled with factual and personal testimony from citizens and elected representatives on this emotional and complex topic,” the governor said in a statement. “Ultimately, these voices shaped and informed the eventual contents of carefully negotiated legislation and exceptions to address some of the unimaginable circumstances that a woman or an unborn child may face.”

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