The bill drafted by the GOP would also prohibit abortion clinics from performing surgical abortions and would require personal dispensation from an abortion-inducing drug used in a drug abortion. It would include exceptions in cases of rape or incest, as long as the pregnant person provides the doctor with an affidavit proving the rape or incest.
The meeting of the state’s Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee contained an extensive public debate, with dozens of individuals, from physicians to faith leaders to private individuals, expressing their views on the bill. While some opposed the legislation because of its restrictions on abortion, others opposed what they described as vague language and the proposed exceptions in the measure.
Speaking before the committee on Monday, several speakers invoked their faith and one woman expressed her opposition to the bill, citing her fertility struggle.
Ariel Ream called the proposed legislation “horrible” and said it would likely affect her ability to have a baby as she is at very high risk of stillbirth or miscarriage.
“Who gets to decide when my life is really at stake? Who gets to decide when the fetal abnormalities are deadly enough?” asked Ream. “When is the limit enough and how many women are allowed to die before it is drawn?”
dr. Mary Ott, a pediatrician, told lawmakers she opposed the bill because “access to safe and legal abortion is an essential part of … reproductive health care.”
“Abortion bans threaten the health and well-being of Indiana’s youth, impacting physical, mental health, education and economic outcomes, including higher maternal mortality among adolescents,” Ott said, adding that the proposed legislation politicizes what should be a private decision and will widen health disparities between people of color.
Meanwhile, said Dr. Tyler Johnson, who is a state Senate candidate, said he supported the bill’s intent but argued it could be manipulated as written because of what he called “vague” wording.
“I ask that we remove or refine the language of exception, protect all unborn children and impose appropriate criminal sanctions for intentionally and unnecessarily taking the life of an unborn child,” he said.
The vice president did not answer questions from the press about whether she would support President Joe Biden in declaring a national or public health emergency, which members of Congress and reproductive rights organizations have urged. , but Biden has not yet proceeded to do so .
Meeting with lawmakers in Richmond, Virginia, on Saturday, Harris pledged the Biden administration’s support for the protection of abortion rights, while also hitting Republican administration Glenn Youngkin for pledging to sign an anti-abortion bill into law.
“The governor of Virginia, I’ve read, says he will ‘gleefully’ cite a law to take away reproductive rights. So I’d also like to make it clear that I’m fully aware of the context in which we meet, in terms of what this will mean for the people of Virginia,” Harris told a group of state representatives on Saturday. “And what is directly at stake in this state, in terms of their rights, and their rights in particular when it comes to a governor who is apparently willing to limit and even ban abortion based on an interpretation of the words he spoke.”
This headline and story were updated Monday with additional details.
CNN’s Paul LeBlanc, Rebekah Riess and Devan Cole contributed to this report.