The White House has spoken out against Indiana’s new bill that limits most abortions as it becomes the first state to pass such restrictions since the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade.
“The Indiana Legislature took a devastating step as a result of the Supreme Court’s extreme decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and eliminate women’s constitutionally-protected right to abortion,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement on Saturday.
“And, it’s another radical step by Republican legislators to take away women’s reproductive rights and freedom, and put personal health care decisions in the hands of politicians rather than women and their doctors,” she added.
The statement challenged Congress to “act immediately” to restore the protections of Roe. It also said President Joe Biden is “committed to taking action” regarding access to abortion care under federal law.
The new Indiana law is set to take effect on September 15. The restrictions against abortion include exceptions for rape, incest, and protecting the life of the mother.
Victims of rape or incest will not be required to sign an affidavit to verify claims of an attack, though the addition had been proposed in an earlier version of the law.
Governor Eric Holcomb (R-IN) released a statement to mark his signing of the bill into law on Friday.
“Following the overturning of Roe, I stated clearly that I would be willing to support legislation that made progress in protecting life. In my view, SEA 1 accomplishes this goal following its passage in both chambers of the Indiana General Assembly with a solid majority of support,” he wrote.
Tonight, following the conclusion of the Indiana General Assembly special session, I signed Senate Enrolled Act 1 and Senate Enrolled Act 2. Click here to read my full statement:
— Governor Eric Holcomb (@GovHolcomb) August 6, 2022
“These actions followed long days of hearings filled with sobering and personal testimony from citizens and elected representatives on this emotional and complex topic. Ultimately, those voices shaped and informed the final contents of the legislation and its carefully negotiated exceptions to address some of the unthinkable circumstances a woman or unborn child might face,” the governor added.
Though pro-life advocates celebrated the law’s signing, not everyone was pleased with the outcome. Eli Lilly and Co., one of the state’s largest employers, released a statement opposing the law.
“While we have expanded our employee health plan coverage to include travel for reproductive services unavailable locally, that may not be enough for some current and potential employees,” the statement read.
“Given this new law, we will be forced to plan for more employment growth outside our home state,” it added.
Biden has also continued to oppose new state laws enacting limitations on abortion. On Wednesday, he announced the creation of a new task force to address the issue.
I created the Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access to ensure the government acts during this moment.
As medical care is denied to women. As pharmacies are unsure whether they can fill prescriptions. As rape survivors, including a 10-year-old, have to travel for care.
— President Biden (@POTUS) August 3, 2022
“I created the Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access to ensure the government acts during this moment,” the president tweeted. “As medical care is denied to women. As pharmacies are unsure whether they can fill prescriptions. As rape survivors, including a 10-year-old, have to travel for care.”