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Indiana legislature convening special session to consider abortion ban

A special Indiana General Assembly committee will meet at 1 p.m. ET Monday to discuss Senate Bill 1, which would prohibit abortion unless the procedure was necessary to prevent a “substantial permanent impairment” to the life of the mother. Republicans control the state legislature.

The GOP-authored bill would also bar abortion clinics from performing surgical abortions and require in-person dispensation of an abortion-inducing drug used in a medication abortion. It would include exceptions in cases of rape or incest so long as the pregnant woman provides the physician with an affidavit attesting to the rape or incest.

Although many states nationwide are examining their laws in the wake of last month’s Supreme Court ruling, particular attention has been paid to Indiana after a 10-year-old rape victim from Ohio crossed state lines to get an abortion. Indiana presently allows abortions up to 20 weeks after fertilization (or 22 weeks after the mother’s last menstrual period).
And last week, the Supreme Court cleared the way for Indiana to try to implement a law that restricts access to abortion for minors that had been blocked by lower courts.
Senate Republican leaders have said that they hope to have a final vote on SB1 by Friday to send it to the state House for consideration. If passed, the bill would go into effect September 1.
While Indiana is the only state as of now to hold a special session to consider restrictive abortion legislation in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, a few other states either plan to or have opened the door to possibly returning for a special legislative session. New York and Wisconsin have already held special sessions that had abortion-related legislation on the agenda.
Abortion rights have become a focal point among Democrats ahead of the 2022 midterm elections in November.

Vice President Kamala Harris is in Indianapolis on Monday for a meeting with state lawmakers about the issue. In a meeting with lawmakers in Richmond, Virginia, on Saturday, Harris pledged the Biden administration’s support for protecting abortion rights while also hitting Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin for pledging to sign an anti-abortion legislation into law.

“The governor of Virginia, I’ve read, says he will, quote ‘gleefully’ sign a law to take away reproductive rights. So I would also like to be clear that I’m fully aware of the context in which we meet, in terms of what this will mean to the people of Virginia,” Harris told a group of state delegates on Saturday. “And what is at stake directly in this state, in terms of their rights, and their rights in particular as it relates to a governor who is apparently prepared to restrict and even ban abortion based on an interpretation of the words he spoke.”

Elsewhere, Kansas will allow voters to consider the issue on August 2 during its primary election, making it the first state to vote on a state constitutional amendment related to abortion, which is currently legal up to 20 weeks after fertilization (or 22 weeks after the mother’s last menstrual period). It is also one of several states to which people from Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri travel for abortion services.

CNN’s Rebekah Riess and Devan Cole contributed to this report.

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