Biden administration criticizes Indiana’s new abortion ban

Biden administration criticizes Indiana’s new abortion ban

President Joe Biden’s administration on Saturday criticized Indiana’s new abortion ban, calling it another major effort by Republicans to trample on women’s rights.

Indiana on Friday became the first state in the nation to approve such legislation since the US Supreme Court overturned a landmark case in 1973 that protected the right to abortion nationwide.

“The Indiana Legislature took a terrible step as a result of the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade and end women’s constitutionally protected right to abortion,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. Another radical step by Republican lawmakers to take away women’s reproductive rights and freedom, and putting personal health care decisions in the hands of politicians rather than women and their doctors.”

The ban, which will come into effect on September 15, includes some exceptions. Abortion will be allowed in cases of rape and circumcision, before 10 weeks after fertilization; to protect the life and physical health of the mother; and if a fetus is diagnosed with a fatal anomaly. Rape and female genital mutilation victims will not have to sign a notarized affidavit attesting to an assault, as was once proposed.

Under the bill, abortions can only be performed in hospitals or hospital-owned outpatient centers, meaning all abortion clinics will lose their licenses. A doctor who performs an illegal abortion or fails to file required reports will lose his medical license.

IU Health, Indiana’s largest health care system, said it was studying the new law.

“It is always a priority at IU Health to ensure that our physicians and patients have clarity when making decisions about pregnancy within the bounds of the law. We will take the next few weeks to fully understand the terms of the new law and how to incorporate the changes into our medical practice to protect our providers and care for those seeking reproductive health care,” he said in a statement.

The Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce urged the General Assembly to proceed with caution.

“Over the past two weeks, the Indiana General Assembly has debated a significant policy change on the abortion issue within a compressed time frame,” the chamber said in a statement Thursday. “Such a rushed legislative process — rushing to advance state policy on broad, complex issues — is, at best, harmful to Hoosiers, and at worst, reckless.”

The state Senate approved the ban 28-19 and the Indiana House advanced it 62-38. The Gov. signed Eric Holcomb the ban into law late Friday night.

Some senators in both parties lamented the bill’s provisions and the impact it would have on the state, including low-income women and the health care system. Eight Republicans joined all 11 Democrats in voting against the bill, although their reasons for blocking the measure were mixed.

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Get complete AP coverage of the Roe v. reversal. Wade at: https://apnews.com/hub/abortion

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