STATE HOUSE--Abortion is the topic during a special session of the Indiana General Assembly coming up on July 25. State Sen. Rod Bray, president pro tem of the Indiana Senate, said during a press conference Wednesday afternoon that the bill that will be considered during the session would limit abortion to being allowed only in the case of rape, incest, if the life of the mother would be in danger, or if the child would not live because of severe medical issues.
“Our underlying goal is to protect human life by limiting abortion to the life of the mother, rape and incest and doing everything we can to support women and babies in the State of Indiana,” said Bray, whose remarks followed comments by fellow Republican Sue Glick, of LaGrange, who outlined the provisions of the bill.
LISTEN: Bray and Glick on the abortion bill and financial relief
The bill (SB1) would not add any additional penalties for doctors who perform abortions. That penalty would still be the possible loss of their medical license.
“This bill does not affect access to the ‘morning after pill’, also known as ‘Plan B’, or any other method of birth control,” said Glick.
The bill also would not penalize women who seek an abortion.
Bray said another bill (SB2) will provide $50 million for supporting women and babies. He said $5 million of that would go toward increasing the adoption credit from $1,000 to $10,000 to make it easier and more affordable to adopt. Another $45 million would go toward a “Hoosier Families First Fund”, which, among other things, would promote access to long-term contraception.
The session will also give lawmakers an opportunity to address financial concerns not only for you, but for some items in the state budget that have been affected by inflation. Bray said some money would be put toward those projects.
To help you, lawmakers plan to cap the gas tax at 29.5 percent, meaning the normally fluctuating gas tax will not go up any more, but it can go down if gas prices go down. That will remain in effect until 2023.
You also would not be paying sales tax on your utilities for a half a year, “a six-moth reprieve from the seven percent sales tax on all residential utility bills including gas, water, electric and phones. Nearly every Hoosier will benefit from this every month on every utility bill,” said Bray.
House Republicans plan on introducing a bill to give you the $225 per person or $450 per couple check promised by Gov. Eric Holcomb.
Republicans are in control of both the House and Senate and essentially are in control of the session, though Bray promised all sides would be heard from, and that the debate would be methodical and unhurried.
“It is unconscionable that Indiana Republicans are gambling with the lives of Hoosier women to gain points in an ultimately unwinnable culture war,” said Democratic leader Sen. Phil GiaQuinta in a prepared statement following the press conference.
“The choice to have an abortion is a personal decision that ought to be left up to a woman and her health care provider, not Republicans who are playing doctor in the Indiana Statehouse.”