Indiana has officially become a state with some of the strictest abortion laws after Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a bill making the practice illegal with few exceptions into law Friday night.
“After Roe was overturned, I made it clear that I would … support legislation that made progress in protecting life,” Holcomb said of the law.
The new law comes into force from 15 September, and only hospitals or outpatient centers will be able to offer services. Axios reports that the law also says those who perform illegal abortions or fail to report them will lose their license.
There are very few exceptions to who can have an abortion in the new law. They include incest, sexual abuse, that a fetus is not viable and whether there is a risk to the woman giving birth. Once the bill goes into effect, all abortion clinics operating in the state will lose their licenses.
Before the new law, abortions would be legal in the state up to 20 weeks, according to CNN.
After signing the bill, Holcomb celebrated, saying he is “personally most proud of every Hoosier who came forward to courageously share their views.”
“For my part as your governor, I will continue to keep an open ear,” he added.
However, some Republicans in Indiana feel the bill is not strong enough, with state representative John Jacob saying that “the body inside the mother’s body is not her body. Not her body, not her choice,” and that the bill still “allows babies to be murdered », according to the Washington Post.
In response to the Indiana bill’s passage, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said it was “a devastating step.” She also clarified that federal law still supersedes state law that protects people who need abortions.
“It’s another radical step by Republican lawmakers to take away women’s reproductive rights and freedom,” Jean-Pierre said.
The bill also puts “personal health care decisions in the hands of politicians instead of women and their doctors,” she said.
Some states want to pass laws where an abortion ban would go even further. In response, the White House took action. Federal law requires local health care providers to save lives by providing abortions even though states prohibit such procedures.
Texas recently sued the White House over the action while voters in Kansas acted to keep abortion legal earlier this week.