INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — As state lawmakers in Indiana begin their special session Monday, WTWO/WAWV’s Nicole Krasean is on location tracking all of the developments.
Legislators are expected to address multiple topics during the session, with Indiana’s abortion laws being the focus of many following the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe V. Wade.
According to Republican representatives at a press conference ahead of the session, the abortion bill would prohibit abortions unless necessary to prevent a “substantial permanent impairment of the life of the mother.” The bill also reportedly has exceptions in cases where the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest, however, those exceptions would require an affidavit.
Anti-abortion groups as well as abortion rights advocates have gathered in the statehouse to voice their concerns regarding the proposed legislation.
State Democrats have vowed to fight the proposed abortion legislation, saying the abortion plan would result in women dying.
Public testimony for and against SB 1
Members of the public were given a chance to comment on the proposed legislation. Testimony will run until 5 p.m. Monday and resume Tuesday morning from 9 a.m. until noon.
Dr. Mary Abernathy is now testifying. She is sharing data from the Wabash Valley as someone who works in maternal health and prenatal care. She says she is concerned that OB providers in rural areas may stop providing care as they fear going against the new law. @wtwonews— Nicole Krasean (@NicoleK_WTWO) July 25, 2022
Dr. Abernathy says a study showed that there could be a 21% increase in maternal deaths if this bill passes, with a 33% increase in maternal deaths for Black mothers. @wtwonews— Nicole Krasean (@NicoleK_WTWO) July 25, 2022
There are plenty of people testifying in opposition of SB 1 because they feel the bill is not strict enough.— Nicole Krasean (@NicoleK_WTWO) July 25, 2022
One man is saying that state legislation should outright ban abortion with no exceptions. @wtwonews
Marissa Jensen is a 17-year-old who went through foster care and says she is fighting for the rights of the unborn. She said foster care was hard and life is hard, but hard times make you stronger. She says she is a voice for the pre-born. @wtwonews— Nicole Krasean (@NicoleK_WTWO) July 25, 2022
Robin Atkins is the first person to testify in opposition of SB 1. She says she is a survivor of sexual violence and has had an abortion in the past.— Nicole Krasean (@NicoleK_WTWO) July 25, 2022
“Rape is always a traumatic event”, she says in her testimony. @wtwonews
Topics still to come
While Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb had called for a taxpayer refund as part of the special session, Republicans say they plan to take a different route offering instead a suspension of sales taxes on residential utilities.
Republicans are also expected to propose a gas tax cap that would remain in place until June of 2023. The legislation would also appropriate $17,700,000 from the state general fund to the auditor of state to make transfers to counties, cities, and towns to cover the gasoline excise tax and special fuel tax that each county, city, and town would have otherwise received if the rates had not been frozen.
This is a developing story check back for updates, and tune in Monday night to WAWV News at 5 and WTWO News at 6 for a full recap of the day’s activities.