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Indiana may soon ban abortion if Republican lawmakers can agree on how far to go

Abortion-rights activist rally at the Indiana Statehouse following U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn <em>Roe v. Wade</em>, June 25, 2022 in Indianapolis. State lawmakers convene Monday July 25 for a special session to debate banning abortion.
AJ Mast
/
AP
Abortion-rights activist rally at the Indiana Statehouse following U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, June 25, 2022 in Indianapolis. State lawmakers convene Monday July 25 for a special session to debate banning abortion.

INDIANAPOLIS – Monday, lawmakers in Indiana are gathering at the Statehouse for a special session on banning abortion in the state, among other issues.

If the ban takes place, Indiana would join about a dozen other states that have banned abortion with very few exceptions.

Vice President Kamala Harris is headed to Indianapolis to meet with some of those lawmakers on reproductive rights amid the debate, but the special session could run for a few weeks.

"Our underlying goal is to protect human life, promote more adoption and less abortion by limiting abortion to the life of the mother, rape and incest," said Rodric Bray, the head of the Indiana state Senate, as he unveiled the initial abortion bill last week.

There are deep divisions within the Republican caucuses. Some think the initial bill is too lax, others too harsh.

The Democrats have a superminority, not just a minority, in the Statehouse. However, they could force votes on amendments that could put Republicans in a tough spot. Democrats also see themselves as a voice of warning.

"Just watch when people get a hold of this piece of legislation and find out that we have an outright ban on abortion in Indiana. It's going to get worse," said Senate Democratic Leader Greg Taylor

Indiana abortion in the spotlight

There's been enormous focus on the state and abortion over the last couple of weeks, in part because of a 10-year-old rape victim who got an abortion in the state. The doctor who provided the abortion is taking a key step toward a possible defamation lawsuit against Indiana's Republican attorney general, Todd Rokita.

There have been large abortion rights rallies at the Statehouse since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade and more are expected this week, including some from groups against abortion rights.

That spotlight will get brighter still as Vice President Harris holds a roundtable Monday in front of the press.

Indiana lawmakers have through August 14 to finish their work, about three weeks. The normal legislative process will take two weeks, meaning if the two chambers can't agree they could run out of time to pass their legislation.

Legislators will also use the special session to debate inflation relief, with Republicans split on how best to help Hoosiers struggling with high prices.

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Brandon Smith