COLUMBUS, Ind. – Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, Gov. Eric Holcomb said he has no “red lines” when it comes to limits on abortion in Indiana.
Holcomb’s comments come a day after Republican legislative leaders announced the start of their special session would be delayed nearly three weeks to July 25.
Holcomb called for the special session to begin July 6 so lawmakers could approve his proposed $225 automatic tax refund to provide Hoosier taxpayers relief from inflation.
After the Supreme Court’s ruling, Holcomb and lawmakers added plans to discuss abortion legislation as well.
When asked about the delay Thursday, Holcomb responded, “I’m working with the legislature and started the shot clock on this session on July 6. And so that gives the legislature ample time to do work now and when they meet in-person.”
Holcomb originally wanted lawmakers to approve the tax refund by the end of June.
“It just makes me more anxious to get it done,” Holcomb told reporters. “I’m even more persuaded that we can give at least a billion dollars back to Hoosiers.”
As for abortion, Holcomb said he’s ready to sign any new restrictions that lawmakers pass.
“I don’t have any red lines right now,” he said.
The delay to Statehouse action on abortion is drawing a mixed reaction.
“I would honestly say that we welcome the extra time,” said Haley Bougher, vice president of Women4Change, which supports abortion rights. “It allows Women4Change to rally our members.”
“In an ideal world, we would have loved to have had this special session happen immediately after the decision came down from the Supreme Court,” said Mike Fichter, president and CEO of Right to Life Indiana. “But we understand there are a lot of dynamics in play.”
Meanwhile, State Rep. Jake Teshka (R-South Bend) recently told WSBT a total abortion ban is unlikely.
“I would expect that we would land somewhere with a ban with exceptions for the life of the mother and likely rape and incest as well,” Teshka said.
Republican legislative leaders and committee chairs have declined or not responded to requests for interviews to discuss those comments and what the new abortion law could look like.
Under Indiana law, legislators will have until August 14 to finish their work. They have said this will be a multi-week session that will include committee hearings and public testimony.