INDIANA – Indiana state senators narrowly passed an abortion ban Saturday during a rare weekend session, sending the bill to the House after a contentious week of arguments over whether to allow exceptions for rape and incest.
The Republican-controlled Senate voted to pass the bill with the fewest number of yes votes needed, 26-20, with no support from Democrats sending the bill to the House for consideration.
The bill would prohibit abortions from the time a fertilized egg implants in a uterus. Exceptions would be allowed in cases of rape and incest, but a patient seeking an abortion for either reason would have to sign a notarized affidavit attesting to the attack.
Saturday’s vote puts Indiana on track to be one of the first states in the nation to pass new abortion restrictions after the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that had protected women’s right to an abortion for 50 years.
Republicans who voted against the measure were split. Some, like Sens. Kyle Walker and Veneta Becker, said the bill was too restrictive. Others, like Indianapolis Sen. Michael Young, voted against the measure because it didn’t go far enough.
Senator Jean Breaux, an Indianapolis Democrat, said the bill “feels very much like an attack on womanhood.”
Republican House Speaker Todd Huston declined to talk about what’s in the Senate bill but said he supports the rape and incest exceptions.