The GOP-controlled Indiana state Senate passed a measure Saturday to ban most abortions following hours of debate and discussion.
The bill passed the Senate by a 26 to 20 vote during the special session and will now head to the House, which is also controlled by Republicans.
Republican Sen. Sue Glick, who authored the bill, called its passing a “huge step forward in protecting the life of the unborn children in our state.”
The legislation would ban abortions from the time a fertilized egg implants in a uterus and allows exceptions in cases of rape, incest and when the mother’s life is at risk. But a woman seeking an abortion under the rape and incest exceptions would be required to sign a notarized affidavit attesting to the attack.
Republican Sen. Mike Young had been against having exceptions for rape and incest. “Exceptions equal death for unborn innocent children,” he said, according to WFYI-TV.
Ten Republicans joined 10 Democratic colleagues in opposing Senate Bill 1. One Democrat was absent for Saturday’s debate.
Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers spoke out against the legislation before the vote was held.
“Women deserve to have us protect their lives and free will. Senate Bill 1 destroys both. Shame on us for doing this,” GOP Sen. Vaneta Becker said, highlighting that just eight of the Senate’s 50 members are women.
“We are considering dictating medical decisions with blinders and ignorant of the astounding, unintended consequences we are creating,” Becker continued.
Glick said she was not “100% pleased” with the legislation but that she could “live with it.”
And Democratic Sen. Tim Lanane slammed the bill as the result of a male-dominated Legislature that wishes to restrict what pregnant women can do with their bodies.
“This is the government, the male-dominated government of the state of Indiana, saying to the women of this state, you lose your choice,” he said. “We’ve told you — papa state, big state government — is going to tell you what you will do with your body. And I don’t think we’re ready for that.”
The House’s proposed changes to the bill could come as soon as next week, as lawmakers head into the second week of the three-week special session.
House Speaker Todd Huston would not comment on the specifics of the Senate bill on Friday but did say he supports exceptions for rape and incest.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.