Abortion Indiana

Senate Minority Leader Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis, responds to proposed legislation on abortion and financial relief offered by Senate Republicans at the Statehouse in Indianapolis on Wednesday.

The Indiana Senate’s second reading of the proposed abortion ban will take place at 3:30 p.m. today.

S.B. 1, which passed through the Senate Committee on Rules and Legislative Procedures with a 7-5 vote, would ban abortions in all cases except rape, incest, or risk of harm to the mother.

Indiana Senate Democrats proposed 13 amendments to the bill, none of which were approved. The one amendment added to the bill by the committee stated that a victim of rape or incest less than 16 years old could have an abortion up to 12 weeks after becoming pregnant. Victims who are 16 years old or older would have eight weeks.

The Senate Democrats offered a minority report during Wednesday’s session that would have offered amendments to extend the deadline to 20 weeks, but were blocked from discussing the report during the committee meetings due to a procedural rule.

“When my caucus put forward a minority report that was blocked from even being heard through a procedural rule, we were shut out,” Senate Minority Leader Greg Taylor said during a press conference. “That's what this special session has been so far. A silencing of dissenting voices.”

The democrats plan to offer “over 30” amendments to S.B. 1 during the reading today, Sen. Shelli Yoder said. “Every one of our bills are designed to give women the assistance and support they will need and are worthy to receive in a state where forced pregnancy will be the new law of the land.”

Yoder said the amendments aim to provide support and aid for women, as well as show Hoosiers how pro-life Senators vote on issues like doula services, health exemptions, and parental consent in cases of rape and incest.

“I urge you to watch closely how members of the excessive majority vote on our amendments because that will be when they show Hoosiers where they really stand on the issue of life,” Yoder said. “That is when it will be made absolutely clear whether Republicans in the Indiana Senate are truly pro-life or if they are pro-forced-pregnancy.”

Sen. Tim Lanane pointed out how Taylor introduced an amendment that would have provided items like life insurance, tax deductions and child support beginning at conception, but the amendment was voted down with “hardly any comment.”

“Either you treat the fetus like every other person, if that's your view,” Lanane said. “Or you take your nose out of women's private hospital rooms and let doctors do their jobs and let the current law stand.”

Sen. Jean Breaux pointed out how Indiana is third in the nation in maternal mortality, and said how those numbers are worse for Black women.

“The fact that women's lives will be sacrificed to the Republicans’ total abortion ban is not ok,” Breaux said. “The fact that existing health disparities guarantee that black women and other women of color will disproportionately be impacted by this restrictive policy, that is not ok.”

Taylor said the Senate Republicans themselves do not have a clear consensus on which direction they want to take. Sen. Mike Young left the Senate Republican caucus, citing the discussions on abortion among other things.

“The argument that we will save lives with the rape and incest language, while true, also commits certain innocent unborn babies to a death sentence,” Young’s letter resigning from the caucus read. “I don’t want to be part of a decision that chooses which babies die and which babies live.”

“Well, I think if you look at the tea leaves and see what's been going on inside their own caucus, you can see that there's not a clear consensus on what they want,” Taylor said. “It's kind of like when you have a leader and everybody's following him, and then he says, ‘Hey, we're gonna walk in that fire over there.’ And he starts walking that way and he looks back, and there's nobody following him. There was obviously no discussion about what this bill was going to look like in their caucus before it came out. And I think that upset Senator Young and several of his other colleagues.”

Taylor ended the press conference by urging Hoosiers to vote in upcoming elections. He said the Republicans’ supermajority control created the process that he said silenced input from the public and Senate Democrats.

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