INDIANAPOLIS — President Joe Biden’s administration and one of Indiana’s largest employers have condemned the state’s new abortion ban, with the White House calling it another extreme attempt by Republicans to trample rights. womens rights.
Indiana on Friday became the first state in the nation to approve such legislation since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a landmark 1973 case that had protected the right to abortion nationwide.
“The Indiana Legislature has taken a devastating step following the Supreme Court’s extreme decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate women’s constitutionally protected right to abortion,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre in a statement on Saturday. “And it’s another sweeping step by Republican lawmakers to take away women’s reproductive rights and freedoms and put personal health care decisions in the hands of politicians instead of women and their doctors.”
The ban, which takes effect on September 15, includes some exceptions. Abortions will be authorized in cases of rape and incest, before 10 weeks after fertilization; protect the life and physical health of the mother; and if a fetus is diagnosed with a fatal abnormality. Victims of rape and incest will not be required to sign a notarized affidavit attesting to an attack, as previously proposed.
Under the bill, abortions can only be performed in hospitals or hospital-owned outpatient centers, meaning all abortion clinics will lose their license. A physician who performs an illegal abortion or fails to file required reports will lose their medical license.
Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co., which employs 10,400 people at its Indianapolis headquarters, warned the ban could lead it to reevaluate its presence in Indiana.
“We are concerned that this law will impede Lilly’s — and Indiana’s — ability to attract diverse scientific, technical and business talent from around the world,” the company said in a statement on Saturday. “While we have expanded our employee health plan coverage to include travel for reproductive services not available locally, this may not be enough for some current and potential employees.”
“Given this new law, we will be forced to plan for greater job growth outside of our home country,” he said.
Lilly has research and development centers in New York and the California cities of San Diego and San Francisco, and announced this year that it would build a $700 million genetic medicine center in Boston.
Lilly was not among more than 250 companies that opposed abortion restrictions in a letter published July 21 by the American Civil Liberties Union, The Indianapolis Star reported.
IU Health, Indiana’s largest health care system, said it was studying the new law.
“IU Health’s priority remains ensuring our physicians and patients have clarity when making decisions about pregnancy within the bounds of the law. We will take the next few weeks to fully understand the terms of the new law and how to incorporate the changes into our medical practice to protect our providers and care for people seeking reproductive health care,” he said in a statement. .
The Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce urged the General Assembly to proceed with caution.
“Over the past two weeks, the Indiana General Assembly has debated substantial policy change on the issue of abortion in a shortened timeframe,” the chamber said in a statement Thursday. “Such a rushed legislative process — rushing to advance state policy on broad and complex issues — is, at best, damaging to Hoosiers, and at worst, reckless.”
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