Indiana Republicans began today’s hearing on an abortion bill passed by the Senate by amending it.

The 41-page amendment does the following…

  • The amendment allows abortion up to 20 weeks “to prevent a substantial  permanent impairment to the life *or physical health*” of the mother. The Senate bill covered only the risk of death.
  • The  amendment removes rape/incest affidavit requirement. It also removes provision allowing the Attorney General to prosecute cases if the local prosecutor won’t (the House has rejected that idea twice before).
  • In lieu of AG jurisdiction, the bill sets up an 11-member panel to report to the legislature by year’s end on how many times a prosecutor has refused to act.
  • The bill allows rape/incest victims to seek abortion within 10 weeks. The Senate bill set an 8-week limit for victims over 16, 12 weeks for those under 16.
  • Abortions are still permitted in cases of severe fetal anomaly
  • .The amendment adds language to the bill that *explicitly* says the abortion ban does NOT apply to in vitro fertilization.

Along with the rape and incest exceptions, Right to Life groups have opposed that language, contending it’s too vague and would actually expand abortion.

The bill passed out of Court and Corrections Committee 8-5, with Republican Rep. Cindy Zimke  voting no, saying it’s not something her constituents wanted.

The measure now goes to the full chamber for more amendments and a final vote.

You can hear Committee Chairman Wendy McNamara in the Leon-Tailored Audio above.

It runs about six minutes.