Indiana, the state to which a 10-year-old rape victim recently fled from Ohio to get legal abortion care, has become the first state to enact a new law banning abortion post-Roe v. Wade. Close to midnight on Friday, Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed a bill that bans abortions at 10 weeks post-fertilization, with exceptions for rape, incest, severe fetal anomalies and life of the mother. The law also bans abortion clinics entirely, mandating that all abortions must take place in hospitals or outpatient centers owned by hospitals.
All 11 Democratic state senators and 8 Republicans opposed the bill, while the other 28 Republicans passed it. “We are backsliding on democracy,” said state Sen. Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis). “What other freedoms, what other liberties are on the chopping block, waiting to be stripped away?”
The state legislature in Indiana is heavily gerrymandered, giving a massive advantage to Republicans, so it’s not surprising that the Republican-controlled state legislature was able to successfully ban abortions. When a vote is put to the actual people in the state—as it was in Kansas earlier this week—the results look very different. Nearly two-thirds of American voters disapprove of the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe, but are being held hostage by a few conservatives in charge. The Kansas ballot measure on abortion drew a disproportionately massive turnout in a state primary election, and voters chose 59% to 41% to keep the right to abortion in the state constitution—an outcome that should very much worry Republicans ahead of the upcoming midterm election.
Indiana, too, should be worried about the consequences of shoving an abortion ban down people’s throats at a time when doing so is very unpopular. Pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, one of the biggest employers in the state, has already sent a warning shot and announced plans for more employment growth “outside our home state.”