Crowds gather at the Statehouse to protest Senate Bill 1

Crowds wrapped around the Indiana Statehouse Monday morning, July 25th, mostly in opposition to the proposed abortion bans in Indiana Senate Bill 1. That bill was authored by Susan Glick, the Republican State Senator from District 13 in northern Indiana.

The bill, which can be found on the Indiana General Assembly website, restricts all abortions except in the case of rape, incest, or “permanent impairment of the life of the mother.” In its current form the bill would be considerably more restrictive than the Mississippi Gestational Age Act, which was at the center of the Supreme Court case which effectively overturned Roe v Wade.

In the Dobbs v Jackson case, Mississippi legislation prohibited abortions performed after a gestational age of 15 weeks. That’s only eight weeks earlier than the current interpretation of Roe v Wade, which stated that states could not institute restrictions on abortion prior to fetal viability (28 weeks at the time and approximately 23 weeks currently). 

The Indiana Bill, which currently restricts abortions from implantation, is in it’s first reading before the Indiana Senate’s House Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee. The committee is currently listening to testimony before deciding whether to approve, amend, or reject the bill.

There was a heated but respectful exchange between David Hewitt, a pastor from the Cruciform Bible Church in Indianapolis, and State Senator Greg Taylor, the ranking minority member of the committee, after Hewitt emphatically argued that the correct interpretation of the bible should restrict any and all abortions, and that committee members should amend the bill to include punishments for anyone involved in abortion attempts.

Taylor quickly challenged Hewitt’s interpretation of the scripture and warned the pastor of the inherent dangers of creating legislation based on one religious perspective. Taylor assured Hewitt that he also loved God and honored the scriptures, but pointed out that interpretations have evolved to no longer include stonings and slavery.  

If the bill is approved or amended it will then be sent to a full meeting of the state senate for a second reading for possible amendments and then a third reading for debate and vote. If approved by the State Senate it will be sent to the State Representatives for consideration, and if passed and signed could go into effect as soon as September 1st.     

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