Indiana’s Abortion Ban is the First Since Roe Fell

What’s happening: Indiana passed a near-total ban on abortion that will become effective 9/15/22.

Details: The ban prohibits abortion in all cases, with the following exceptions:

  • Rape or incest (allowed until 12 weeks)
  • Fatal fetal anomaly, or when necessary to prevent serious health risks or death of the pregnant person (allowed until 22 weeks)

The law also requires that:

  • all abortions be performed in a hospital or hospital-based clinic
  • a doctor lose their medical license if they violate the law

Zoom in: Although Republicans dominate the state legislature, lawmakers were divided. Some wanted a total ban, and others were worried about passing an unpopular law that could hurt them in the November elections.

On the ground: Currently, abortion is legal in Indiana until 22 weeks; about 30% of Hoosiers having abortion already travel out of state because abortion is difficult to access in Indiana.

Why this matters: Beyond just how this affects Indiana residents, and the neighboring states they’ll need to travel to, this debate is playing across the country in states like West Virginia and Michigan.

Go Deeper

  • Indiana Governor Signs First Post-Roe Abortion Ban, With Limited Exceptions

    New York Times | August 5, 2022

    Indiana’s SB1 prohibits abortion in all cases except those in which the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, or if the abortion is necessary to avoid serious bodily harm or death or the pregnant person. The Republican legislators disagreed about the bill, and some voted against it. Some wanted the bill to be a total ban without exceptions; others wanted more exceptions; some felt the issue was too complex to legislate so quickly with so little reasoned consideration.

  • Indiana Legislature first to approve abortion bans post Roe | Associated Press | August 5, 2022

    Indiana SB1 prohibits all abortions unless the pregnant person is pregnant because of rape or incest, or if the abortion is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury of the pregnant person.

    The new abortion ban in Indiana is notable for three reasons:

    1. It is the first abortion ban to become law since Roe v. Wade was overturned 6/24/22.
    2. Republican legislators in IN were split on whether to allow exceptions and what kind.
    3. This law comes about 1 week after Kansas’s referendum demonstrated a resounding win for abortion advocates in that deeply conservative state.
  • Abortion law in Indiana leads to fallout for state, politics

    Washington Post | Amber Phillips and Tom Hamburger | August 6, 2022

    This article reviews the potential financial costs to the state, as viewed by organizations like Eli Lilly, Salesforce, and the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. It also reviews the potential political costs to Republicans, as this law was enacted 3 days after Kansas’s referendum resounding supported abortion access. Republicans and Democrats alike wonder whether extreme abortion bans will lead to a backlash against Republicans in the November elections.

  • Indiana Senate Bill 1 (2022)

    August 5, 2022

    Elements of the law:

    • Near-total ban on abortion from conception
    • Exceptions for rape, incest, protection of the pregnant person’s health or life
    • Closes all abortion clinics (abortions will only be able to performed in hospitals or hospital-based clinics)
    • Effective 9/15/2022


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