INDIANAPOLIS — The decision by the Supreme Court's conservative majority to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.
While Indiana does not have a trigger law, which would have outlawed abortion immediately after the overturn of Roe v. Wade, it is among the states which are most likely to ban abortion in the coming weeks.
In Indiana, a total of 7,756 terminations were reported in 2020. Of these, 7,372 — 95.05% — were for Indiana residents, while 384 — 4.95% — were for out-of-state residents.
However, at this point, it is still technically legal to get an abortion in the state.
What to know about current abortion law in Indiana:
Abortion in Indiana is banned after 22 weeks of pregnancy, with some provisions for medical emergencies.
Before an abortion, patients must undergo an 18-hour waiting period.
Medical providers must tell patients about the risks involved in abortion and must say the fetus can feel pain around 20 weeks, which is disputed by doctors and medical professionals.
Providers must report complications related to abortion. Failure to report can result in a misdemeanor charge, 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
A person may not lawfully or knowingly perform a partial birth abortion unless a physician reasonably believes it is necessary to save the life of the mother and that no other medical procedure is sufficient.
Indiana requires that abortions after the first trimester of pregnancy must be performed in a hospital or licensed surgical center.
Federal courts have blocked several restrictions in Indiana, including an attempt to ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure.
Federal courts also blocked a law that would have required doctors to tell pregnant women about a disputed treatment to potentially stop a drug-induced abortion.
Medication abortion cannot be administered after 10 weeks of pregnancy.
Telemedication abortions are prohibited in Indiana.
Indiana legislature on abortion
With the fall of Roe v. Wade, Republican legislators at the statehouse are well poised to ban abortion in Indiana.
Medical and legal experts told 13News when a draft opinion of the Roe v. Wade overturn was leaked by Politico in early May that Indiana legislators have already worked to restrict access to abortion more aggressively than other states.
A glance at previously introduced state legislation suggests the state's Republican supermajority would move fast to prohibit abortion within the legislature.
"Indiana has been one of the worst, in terms of going as far as possible, in terms of restricting abortion access. We have essentially every single targeted restriction of abortion provider law that exists here in Indiana," said Dr. Cailtin Bernard, who is an expert in sexual and reproductive health at IUPUI.
Those restrictions include measures meant to restrict abortion access that were enacted in the state between 2011 and 2019. Indiana was one of six states that moved — and failed — to pass a measure that would ban abortion for nearly all circumstances in 2011. Legislators introduced another abortion ban in 2018, but it failed as well.
With the overturn of Roe v. Wade, legislators could invoke two processes to ban abortion in Indiana.
"The first would be that the Governor would constitutionally call a special session, which has already happened. The special session will go into effect on July 6, and then the General Assembly will meet most likely to impose stricter abortion regulations. The second is actually by a constitutional amendment, and that's more unique. I don't think they need to do that in order to affect the strict regime that they'll probably want to impose," said Dr. Jody Lyneé Madeira, who is a professor of law and Louis F. Niezer faculty fellow at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law.
Governor Eric Holcomb said he would address abortion during that special session at the beginning of July.
"The Supreme Court's decision is clear, and it is now up to the states to address this important issue. We’ll do that in short order in Indiana. I’ve already called the General Assembly back on July 6, and I expect members to take up this matter as well," Holcomb said.