The Republican-dominated Senate voted 28 to 19 in favor of the bill last night (local time). It was subsequently signed by Republican Governor Eric Holscomb. He said in a statement that it had been carefully considered which exceptions should apply. These would take into account the “unimaginable circumstances that a woman or an unborn child may face”.
The new law is scheduled to come into force on September 15. From then on, abortions are only allowed in Indiana in a few exceptional cases: after rape, in cases of incest, when the fetus is not viable or there is a serious health risk for the mother.
Fundamental judgment overturned by the Supreme Court
At the end of June, the US Supreme Court overturned a landmark ruling that had guaranteed the right to abortion in the US Constitution for almost 50 years. Since this right is no longer protected by federal law, states can now enact sweeping restrictions and prohibitions. Republican states in particular have already enacted restrictive abortion laws. The consequence of the judgment of the Supreme Court is a patchwork of regulations.
Declaration of war by US President Biden
The government of US President Joe Biden had sharply criticized the Supreme Court’s decision and announced that it would campaign for abortion rights in every conceivable way. Biden followed suit by announcing that he would sign an ordinance at the first meeting of his abortion working group on Wednesday.
To put it vaguely, this is intended to ensure access to medical facilities and health care, for example in the event that someone travels to a certain state in order to receive the legal services there.
Lawsuit against the State of Idaho
In another step, Biden’s Justice Department is taking action against the state of Idaho. Attorney General Merrick Garland said Tuesday in Washington that his department had filed a lawsuit against plans in Idaho to ban abortion in almost all cases, including medical emergencies for pregnant women. The regulation, which should come into force there at the end of August, only provides for an exception for cases in which a woman’s life is in danger, but not for cases in which an abortion is necessary to seriously endanger a woman’s health to prevent.
According to the Department of Justice, this violates federal law. Because all hospitals that receive certain government funds are required to provide patients in the emergency room with the necessary “stabilizing treatment” to save their lives or prevent serious damage to their health. And under certain circumstances, a termination of pregnancy is absolutely necessary as such “stabilizing treatment”.
On Tuesday, for example, the residents of the US state of Kansas voted in a referendum for an abortion right that continues to be protected by the constitution. Abortion rights activists hailed the vote in Kansas as a clear sign of voter support for politics.
With the result of the referendum, abortions are still legal in Kansas up to the 22nd week. This makes the state, which itself is governed by a conservative majority, a kind of refuge for pregnant women from nearby states such as Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas, in which abortion is now banned with a few exceptions.