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White House calls Indiana abortion ban ‘devastating’ – Health and Lifestyle News – Report by AFR

The White House on Saturday attacked the Indiana lawmaker for sweepingly restricting access to abortion, calling it a “devastating” move for the Midwestern state.

Indiana on Friday became the first state to pass such legislation since the Supreme Court in June struck down the constitutional right to abortion originally proclaimed in the landmark Roe v. Wade had been affirmed.

“The Indiana legislature took a devastating step as a result of the Supreme Court’s extreme decision of Roe v. Wade and eliminate women’s constitutionally protected abortion rights,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

“It is another radical step by the Republican legislature to deprive women of reproductive rights and freedoms and place personal health decisions in the hands of politicians instead of women and their physicians.”

Both houses of the Republican-dominated Indiana Legislature passed the abortion measure Friday after weeks of bitter debate, and Gov. Eric Holcomb, a Republican, was quick to sign it.

When the measure goes into effect on September 15, it will only allow abortions in cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormality, or when a pregnant woman is at risk of death or serious health problems.

Alexis McGill Johnson, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which campaigns for abortion rights, called the law “cruel” and “devastating.”

Jean-Pierre said in her statement that Congress should “act immediately to pass legislation restoring the protection of roe — the only way to secure a woman’s right to national election.”

Until then, she said, “President Biden is committed to taking action to protect women’s reproductive rights and liberties.”

While some conservative states passed pre-emptive “trigger” legislation earlier this year to ban abortion as soon as the Supreme Court acts, Indiana lacked such a law.

Abortion had been legal there for up to 22 weeks. In the Indianapolis state capital, a 10-year-old girl rape victim traveled to get an abortion when she couldn’t get one in neighboring Ohio.

This story attracted intense media attention and further fueled the passions surrounding the topic.

Abortion has long been deeply divisive in the US, and the Supreme Court decision secured its centrality in the political debate ahead of the midterm elections.

Democrats, who say the Supreme Court is seriously disconnected from national sentiment, have echoed the result of a vote Tuesday in heavily conservative Kansas that overwhelmingly chose to uphold that state’s constitutional protections for abortion rights.

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