INDIANAPOLIS — Senate Republicans introduced their plan Wednesday for the special session that starts Monday.
During a news conference Wednesday, Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray (R-Martinsville) and State Senator Sue Glick (R-LaGrange) detailed the bills that Senate Republicans plan to introduce. This includes a bill that, for the most part, blocks abortion. It also includes several bills involving financial matters.
Senate Bill 1 – Abortion
The first Senate Bill introduced prohibits abortion unless necessary to prevent a substantial permanent impairment of the life of the mother or the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest. The bill also specifies other requirements, including prohibiting abortion clinics from performing surgical abortions.
It provides a defense for a pregnant mother charged with a criminal offense for terminating or seeking the termination of her pregnancy and specifies that a person who terminates the pregnancy of a pregnant woman upon her request may only be charged with certain crimes.
“We are not here to criminalize women, we are here to support mothers and help them bring happy and healthy babies to term,” Glick said. “We in the pro-life movement have long believed in exceptions to abortion restrictions for the life of the mother, and that is reflected in our legislation. In addition, we recognize there are heartbreaking cases where, because of violence committed against women and young girls, providing some additional exceptions is necessary. That’s why the legislation we are introducing provides exceptions for cases of rape and incest, which I believe a majority of Hoosiers support.”
It provides exemptions from the crime of feticide for the pregnant mother and a person who provides medical treatment in good faith to a pregnant woman that results in the accidental or unintentional termination of the pregnancy and a physician who performs a medical procedure to terminate the pregnancy upon request of the pregnant woman.
Senators say the rape and incest exception would require an affidavit. Criminal charges would not be required. Treatment of miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies would not be affected.
Indiana Republicans also say the legislation does not affect access to the morning-after pill or any other method of birth control, treatment of miscarriages, treatment of ectopic pregnancies or in-vitro fertilization procedures. It also does not prohibit ending a pregnancy when the unborn child would not be able to survive due to a fatal fetal anomaly,
Senate Bill 2 – Fiscal matters
This legislation would establish the Hoosier Families First Fund. It appropriates $45,000,000 from the state general fund for this fund for fiscal year 2023.
The fund can go to the Department of Child Services, Family and Social Services Administration, Indiana Department of Health, and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security to fund existing programs and new programs for certain purposes.
It also increases the amount of the adjusted gross income tax credit that those eligible to claim the federal adoption tax credit can claim.
Senate Bill 3 – Gas tax
This legislation would cap the gasoline use tax rate through June 30, 2023 at $0.295 per gallon. It would also provide a temporary sales tax exemption on utilities for six months for residential customers.
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.
It would also appropriate $215,000,000 from the state general fund to the budget agency to supplement the amounts appropriated to the capital reserve account under the current state budget bill and appropriate $400,000,000 from the state general fund to the budget agency for transfer to the pension stabilization fund.
Governor Eric Holcomb called for a special session on July 6 so lawmakers could approve his proposal for a universal tax refund to provide relief from inflation. That session was pushed back to July 25 in light of the recent Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.
Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis) responded to the Senate Republican’s plan, saying the abortion plan would result in women dying.
“When pregnant women cannot access vital components of health care, they are at greater risk of having their pregnancy end in a fatality—especially if they already have existing health conditions or illnesses,” said Taylor.
Taylor says it is a shame that the legislature is moving to take a drastic step.
“Everything from the language of the proposed bill to the legislative process surrounding it is cause for concern, and my caucus will be fighting with everything we’ve got for women and Hoosiers across the state. We also urge everyone to pay close attention to the actions of the so-called “pro-life” supermajority throughout this special session–this is when the supermajority will have to make it very clear whether they actually support life or just forced birth.”Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor (D-Indianapolis)