INDIANAPOLIS — Only one member of the Republican supermajority in Indiana is willing to answer 13 Investigates' abortion survey, despite party claims to be against abortion.
Republicans account for 110 out of 150 Senate and House seats and have signaled plans to further restrict abortion rights.
"If you're pro-life, you're pro-life,” said state Rep. John Jacob, R-District 93. “It means you're pro-life for all lives. Not some lives. So therefore, you should be wanting to end abortion. But it seems to me that the very, the very act by the legislature, that they're actually prolonging this, to meet. Means to me that they can't, I don't perceive that they can really agree on what they really need to do."
Jacob responded after 13 Investigates' first story on the abortion story aired a week ago. He answered all of our questions the next day, telling 13News his staff said they overlooked 13 Investigates' multiple emails.
Jacob is unapologetically for a total ban on abortion in Indiana.
"As a born-again Christian, I believe life is precious,” he said.
He’s against exceptions for rape or incest, writing in part, “... it is cruel and unjust to punish the baby for the crime of the father. The father should be punished for committing rape; the child should not be executed for the father's crime of rape...”
The representative also supports making abortion a crime.
Jacob wrote, “Human life begins at conception, abortion is the willful taking of an innocent human being's life, therefore, it is always murder, therefore, it should be treated as murder to all involved.”
He thinks every member of his party should answer questions publicly detailing where they fall on the issue.
Asked if the party asked him not to speak on his views, Jacob said, “I am prohibited from saying anything about that. It's ... I can't really answer that."
While he’s the only one out of 110 Republicans to answer our survey, it’s clear Indiana Republicans oppose abortion. The newly-adopted party platform states, in part, “we believe in the sanctity of human life from conception...”
The 2022 platform also states the GOP supported the overturning of Roe v. Wade, in hopes, "Indiana will be in a position to fully implement our longstanding values on life."
Indiana University South Bend political science professor Elizabeth Bennion tells 13 Investigates this is likely part of a political strategy to keep members united. Bennion also pointed out being against abortion may be easier than legislating it those views.
“There are decisions to be made about the law because legislators don't want to be in the position of having a case where the decision really is between zero and one life, and the policy they wrote forces the doctors to choose zero,” she said.
The Indiana General Assembly will meet in person starting July 25 for a special session to address the abortion issue. Any proposed legislation will be posted here.
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