Republican senators clashed Thursday during the full Senate hearing of Senate Bill 1, which would effectively ban abortion. Senator Mike Young, R-Indianapolis, proposed an amendment to get rid of exceptions for rape and incest.
“Exceptions equal death,” Young said.
The amendment failed 18-28.
Several senators from both parties spoke in opposition to the amendment, including author of the original bill Senator Susan Glick, R-LaGrange.
“Don’t force that evil on them after the evil they’ve already suffered,” Glick said.
Kyle Walker, R-Lawrence, said he was shocked they were having this debate and voiced his opposition to Young’s amendment. Senator Jim Tomes, R-Wadesville, spoke in support of the amendment, referencing teachings from his pastor that informed his belief on abortion.
The senate successfully passed a seperate amendment, giving Attorney General Todd Rokita the authority to prosecute abortion cases if the county prosecutor categorically refuses to prosecute. During debate, members brought up Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears, who recently promised not to prosecute abortions.
Senator Timothy Lanane, D-Anderson, proposed an amendment ensuring parental consent is not required to obtain an abortion if one was raped by a parent. It passed unanimously.
Another amendment, proposed by Senator Jean Breaux, D-Indianapolis, suggested the maternal mortality review commission study the effects of an abortion ban on maternal mortality. The amendment likely refers to a study that has shown links between restrictive abortion policies and high maternal mortality, which is already the case in Indiana where maternal mortality is more than twice the national rate.
The amendment passed with little opposition.
Senator Liz Brown, R-Fort Wayne, proposed an amendment requiring an affidavit be notarized. Opponents argued the amendment would put rape victims through unnecessary stress and would remove an explicit promise of confidentiality from the language of the bill. The vote was a tie at 23-23, but Lieutenant Suzanne Crouch voted yes to break the tie, and the amendment passed.
Besides the abortion bill, senators also discussed Senate Bill 2, which would provide funding for services like pregnancy care and child development. An amendment asking for a study on medicare reimbursement rates passed with no opposition, but all other amendments, including funding for public health infrastructure and addressing maternal and infant mortality, failed.
The Senate will hear a third reading of SB1 and will vote on Saturday due to delays in Thursday’s session.