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Vice President Kamala Harris in Indianapolis Monday over proposed abortion ban bill

The vice president is expected to meet with state legislators to discuss reproductive rights.

INDIANAPOLIS — Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Indianapolis Monday, July 25 to meet with state legislators and leaders to discuss the abortion ban bills Indiana Republicans are proposing. 

Harris is expected to lead a reproductive rights roundtable.

She spoke briefly after arriving at the Indianapolis International Airport.

"As we know, Indiana's the first state in the nation after the Dobbs decision to hold a special session, where they have proposed legislation that will essentially and effectively ban access to abortion for the women of this state," Harris said. "And again, we are clear that it should be that woman's decision, not the government telling her what to do with her body or her life, and no one has to give up their faith or their beliefs to agree that the government should not tell somebody else what they should do."

The vice president reiterated those sentiments during formal remarks to Indiana Democrats during a roundtable discussion at the Statehouse.

"An individual should be able to choose based on their personal beliefs and the dictates of their faith. But the government should not be telling an individual what to do, especially as it relates to one of the most intimate and personal decisions a woman could make," Harris said.

Indiana Senate Republicans rolled out bills on Wednesday that would restrict access to abortions, increase access to contraceptives, and fund resources for women and children. One of the bills would allow exceptions in cases of rape, incest or to protect a woman’s life.  

The bills will be brought forward during the special session scheduled to begin Monday.

Indiana Republican lawmakers are pairing the abortion ban bills with promises to boost spending toward helping pregnant women, young children and adoptions. 

A companion bill from senators would allocate $45 million more in the coming year toward state agencies that "support the health of pregnant women, postpartum mothers, and infants" through pregnancy planning and access to contraception, especially among low-income families. The support would be available for families with children under 4 years old and comes along with an estimated $5 million increase in tax credits for adoptive families. 

A separate bill from House Republicans aims to expand the adoption tax credit and directs $58 million toward bolstering services for pregnant women, including $30 million for pregnancy-related costs under the Medicaid program for low-income families. 

Democrats argue Republicans frequently rejected calls to increase funding for programs to help pregnant women and young children, even as the Supreme Court's abortion decision was anticipated.

RELATED: Hundreds of Indiana businesses sign letter supporting abortion access

RELATED: Lawmakers discuss upcoming special session, future of abortion in Indiana


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