Women could face criminal charges for lying about rape to get an abortion under a new bill passed by the Indiana State Senate on Saturday.
The bill comes as reproductive rights are being struck down across the United States following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe vs. Wade, the decision that previously guaranteed the right to abortion. Several Republican-led states immediately banned the procedure, and others, including Indiana, are enacting new restrictions on abortion.
Indiana’s bill passed the Senate on Saturday after weeks of debate over whether or not it should include exceptions for rape and incest. Many states are considering bans that would not allow rape victims to have abortions, even though an overwhelming majority of Americans support such exceptions, polls show.
Ultimately, Indiana’s bill will allow an exception for rape or incest, but still has some limitations, according to Fort Wayne station NBC News.
Anyone seeking an abortion using either exception would be required to sign a notarized affidavit attesting to the attack, the news station reported.
If someone lies about being raped to get an abortion, they could face criminal charges if the bill is passed and signed into law, according to the news station.
The bill will likely be met with support from the Republican-controlled State House in Indiana, and Gov. Eric Holcomb said in June he had “no red lines” on a possible ban on the abortion, but did not comment on the specific bill. Newsweek contacted his office for comment.
The bill was criticized both by abortion rights advocates, who condemned the state legislature for passing a bill restricting the procedure, as well as by anti-abortion advocates who fought against the inclusion of limited exceptions.
Mark Hosbein, a protester, condemned the exceptions when interviewed by The Associated Press. “It’s wrong to try to kill the mother to save the baby, and it’s wrong to try to kill the baby to save the mother. There are all sorts of limits, restrictions and stuff going on here. But I’m here hoping to stop it all,” he said.
Rape and incest exceptions divide Republicans in post-Roe world
As GOP-led state legislatures move to ban abortion in their states, the issue of including rape and incest exceptions has divided the party beyond Indiana, where pressure to pass a more restrictive ban that excluded exceptions failed to pass the Senate on Thursday, the AP reported.
Many GOP-led states, such as Florida, passed bills banning abortion, no exceptions, while Republicans in Idaho blocked an amendment to their party’s platform to support the abortion to save a mother’s life. But that kind of politics has drawn criticism from more moderate Republicans.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu condemned his fellow Republicans for blocking the exceptions when asked about South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who refused to support the exceptions.
“I don’t agree with that at all. I’m just not,” Sununu said on Les actualites. State of the Union earlier in July. “Governor Noem and the people of South Dakota have to reconcile this.”