Indiana legislators eye Texas abortion law but not this year

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Indiana’s Republican-dominated Legislature has approved numerous abortion restrictions over the past decade but its top leaders said Thursday it won’t hurry to adopt legislation patterned after a new Texas law that bans most abortions.

Even though legislators will be meeting for an unusual session during the last two weeks of September, Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston and Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray said they would limit that session to the redrawing of congressional and legislative district maps. That means any abortion law debates wouldn’t happen until the next regular legislative session starts in January.

“We’re closely watching what’s happening in Texas in regards to their new pro-life law, including any legal challenges,” Huston said in a statement. “Indiana is one of the most pro-life states in the country, and we’ll continue to examine ways to further protect life at all stages.”

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, allowed the new Texas law to take effect Wednesday even though the court didn’t rule on its constitutionality. The action has Republicans in many states eager to pass similar measures.

The Texas law allows private citizens to bring lawsuits in state court against anyone involved in an abortion other than the patient. Other abortion laws are enforced by state and local officials, with criminal sanctions possible. It also prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, usually around six weeks, which is before most women know they’re pregnant.

Abortion-rights supporters vowed to continue the legal fight and said Texas politicians had made a “mockery of the rule of law.”

Republican Indiana state Sen. Liz Brown of Fort Wayne, who sponsored several anti-abortion bills adopted in recent years, said she was interested in pursuing a law similar to the one in Texas.

Brown, who is an attorney, said she believed the provision allowing private citizens to sue abortion providers and others was “appropriate.”

“I think that abortions affect society and the community and frankly, in some states, even though you may have pro-life legislators, you do not always have pro-life bureaucrats who are willing to do enforcement inspections,” Brown said.

Indiana’s Legislature has adopted numerous abortion restrictions over the past decade, with several later blocked by court challenges.

A federal judge ruled in August that several of Indiana’s laws restricting abortion were unconstitutional, including the state’s ban on telemedicine consultations between doctors and women seeking abortions.

A judge in 2019 blocked the state’s ban on a common second-trimester abortion procedure that the legislation called “dismemberment abortion.”

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2019 also rejected Indiana’s appeal of a lower court ruling that blocked a ban on abortion based on gender, race or disability. However, it upheld a portion of the 2016 law signed by then-Gov. Mike Pence requiring the burial or cremation of fetal remains after an abortion.

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8 thoughts on “Indiana legislators eye Texas abortion law but not this year

  1. Liz Brown finds “enforcement inspections” via private citizens “appropriate”. What an absolute shame. It’s all PERSONAL FREEDOMS and LIMITED GOVERNMENT until it comes to a woman’s body. I hope State Sen. Brown is voted out before her personal thoughts on abortion harm Indiana residents.

  2. The legal precedent is terrible, which shouldn’t be surprising given the composition of the Court now.

    So the Supreme Court doesn’t even have a hearing to implement a new policy that private citizens not involved in a matter can sue to enforce a law and are entitled to damages, and the state isn’t involved in any way. Huh? The enforcement aspect of opens up Pandora’s box, in a bad way.

    Sure, you might say, that’s fine for abortion. Abortion is really bad. Wait until another state does a similar law for something that YOU don’t like and their citizens turn into the police on that matter. What is California enables citizens to sue for hate speech, or New York enables people to sue over assault rifles?

    History classes taught me that encouraging people to rat out others was really popular in places like East Germany, which wasn’t a hotbed of democracy. We have a government to enforce laws, not private citizens.

    The Supreme Court didn’t even bother to wait for the Mississippi case to throw out Roe v. Wade, which is what a country of laws would do. They’d have hearings and a case would be heard. That’s how things are done in America.

    1. Here we go again. For the umpteenth time: When a baby is formed at conception, it has its own unique DNA structure, which defines a human being. If the baby was “part of a woman’s body,” it would have the same DNA as she does. The baby does not and, therefore, is not “part of her body.”

      And all you bleeding-heart liberals wonder why the crime rate is so high; why there is such disrespect for human life. A culture cannot willfully and legally kill 60 million of its citizens over what is approaching a 50-year period and expect life to be valued at any level.

    2. Says the person who has absolutely no respect for human life.

      Tell me all about the education that you’ve pushed for so that kids understand it doesn’t take much to get pregnant, and what they can do so that an unplanned pregnancy doesn’t happen. Teach them how to use birth control and make sure they understand it’s not perfect. One way to minimize the number of abortions is to minimize the number of unplanned pregnancies.

      Tell me all about your support for programs that encourage people to bring a child into the world despite the quarter million dollar cost of doing so. Tell me all about your support for pregnant mothers so that they get the best care available as they bring the baby to term. Tell me all about your support for high quality childcare. Tell me about supporting wage growth so that parents don’t both have to work, one can stay home with the kids. Because when you support those sorts of things, you encourage people to keep a pregnancy instead of ending it.

      I can keep going again if you haven’t had enough. You’re pro-birth, not pro-life, Bob.

    3. And one more thing, Bob. If you’d have actually read my comment, it had nothing to say about the merits of abortion either way.

      At some point you will realize that replying me to goes about as well as that time the Colts tried the fake punt against the Patriots.

    4. Oh boy! Here come the “non-attacking but debating” Joe B. goes!

      Comply or die?

      The lines write themselves… 😆