Indiana abortion debate draws protest crowds, vice president

Indiana abortion debate draws protest crowds, vice president


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris said a proposal from Indiana Republicans to ban nearly all abortions in the state reflects a health care crisis in the country and she met Monday with Democratic state legislators on the first day of a contentious special legislative session on the issue.

Harris traveled to Indianapolis as several thousand people on both sides of the issue filled Statehouse corridors and lined sidewalks surrounding the building as a state Senate committee was set to begin hearing testimony on the Republican-sponsored proposal.

Indiana is one of the first Republican-run state legislatures to debate tighter abortion laws following the U.S. Supreme Court decision last month overturning Roe v. Wade. The Supreme Court ruling is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.

“Maybe some people need to actually learn how a woman’s body works,” Harris said Monday, eliciting murmurs and laughs from the Democratic legislators. “The parameters that are being proposed mean that for the vast majority of women, by the time she realizes she is pregnant, she will be prohibited from having access to reproductive health care that will allow her to choose what will happen to her life."

Indiana House Democratic Leader Phil GiaQuinta said the proposed ban would have “drastic consequences for women, especially for women of color and low-income women, who are already disproportionately impacted by getting adequate health care access."

Indiana’s Republican Senate leaders proposed a bill last week that would prohibit abortions from the time an egg is implanted in a woman’s uterus with limited exceptions — in cases of rape, incest and to protect the life of the mother. The proposal followed the political firestorm over a 10-year-old rape victim...

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