The White House condemns the “devastating” abortion ban.

The near-total Indiana ban is the first one enacted by Roe v. Wade was overturned

The White House on Saturday described a new ban on nearly all abortions in Indiana as “devastating,” and called on Congress to make access to abortion a national legal right.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed the ban on Friday after it was passed in both chambers of the Republican-controlled state legislature. The law, which goes into effect on September 15, prohibits all abortions except in cases of rape and incest, where the mother’s life is in danger, or if the unborn child is diagnosed with a fatal anomaly.

Hospitals will be the only places authorized to carry out the procedures, which means that the state’s seven abortion clinics will be closed. Doctors who perform illegal abortions will lose their medical license.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre described the passage of the law as a “Devastating step” Other “another radical step by republican legislators to take away the rights and reproductive freedom of women”.

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“Yesterday’s vote, which institutes a near-total ban on abortion in Indiana, should be a signal for Americans across the country to make their voices heard,” Jean Pierre continued. “Congress should also act immediately to pass legislation restoring Roe’s protections – the only way to guarantee a woman’s right to choose nationally,” he concluded

Congress has never passed a law allowing abortion, and states have historically set their own policies on the issue. This changed in 1973 when the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade that the Constitution’s right to privacy covered a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy.

Combined with later case law, Roe v. Wade allowed abortions to be performed without “undue burden”, a legal standard that abortion advocates and opponents fought bitterly until the Supreme Court overturned the ruling in June, bringing the abortion law back to the state level. Writing the majority opinion, Judge Samuel Alito argued that Roe v. Wade rested “Extremely wrong” Other “Exceptionally weak” interpretation of the Constitution.

Indiana’s new legislation is the first post-Roe abortion ban to be passed by a state legislator and become law. West Virginia lawmakers decided to delay passing a similar bill last month, while Kansas voters last week chose not to remove the right to abortion from the state constitution.

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About 13 US states had so-called “trigger bans” on their books, meaning that most abortions immediately became illegal, or a countdown to illegality was set, by the time Roe v. Wade was overturned. As a result, abortion is now banned in all cases without exception in ten states, while two others – Idaho and the aforementioned Indiana – will soon impose similarly harsh bans. Three other states have implemented bans after six weeks of pregnancy, while Florida banned the procedure after 15 weeks. All these bans and restrictions have been challenged by pro-abortion activists.

Jean-Pierre’s call to Congress will likely go unheeded. An attempt to codify and expand Roe v. Wade’s legal protections failed in May, and even if the Senate’s 50 Democrats were united in supporting such a bill, they would still lack the 60-vote majority needed to overcome the unanimous opposition of the 50 Republicans in the upper house. .

President Joe Biden said he would support ending the Senate’s 60-vote filibuster rule solely to pass this legislation.