What you need to know ahead of Indiana’s special session

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Posted at 10:01 PM, Jul 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-25 18:54:11-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana lawmakers will reconvene at the State House on Monday.

The special session was originally called to take place on July 5. It was called by Governor Eric Holcomb for inflation relief.

Following the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, abortion access will now also be decided on. Indiana Senate Republicans released their legislation to further restrict abortion access inSenate Bill 1.

"Our underlying goal is to protect human life, promote more adoption and less abortion,“ Senate Pro-Tem Rodrick Bray said. “We will do so by limiting abortion to life of the mother, rape, and incest, and by being compassionate in supporting pregnant women some of whom find themselves in extremely difficult circumstances. "

Senate Bill 1 also allows an abortion to take place if the child will not be able to survive outside of the mother’s womb. If a woman was raped she must present an affidavit to the doctor.

The bill doesn't call for harsher punishments for abortion providers. Not adding stricter punishments is something the organization, Indiana Right to Life doesn't agree with. The organization called the bill weak and troubling.

"We expect legislation that has enforcement mechanisms within it,” Mike Fichter, CEO of Indiana Right To Life said. “We all know county prosecutors have openly stated that they will not enforce a new pro-life law if it is passed in the state of Indiana. “

Under current Indiana law if a doctor commits an illegal abortion their license can be revoked. Not all Republicans support the legislation the way it is currently written.

State Senator Kyle Walker released this statement ahead of the bill being published by his colleagues.

"I believe we must strike a balance for pregnant women to make their own health decisions in the first trimester of pregnancy,” State Senator Kyle Walker (R - Fishers) said. “Also, provide protections for an unborn baby as it progresses towards viability outside of the womb. While making exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother and fatal fetal anomaly."

Democrats feel this is a step backward for women’s healthcare.

"I think this is a clear indication that we are in trouble and that the state of Indiana has determined it's time to take a step back in regard to women’s health," State Senator Greg Walker (D - Indianapolis) said.

The House has yet to file any legislation regarding abortion currently.

The Senate has also filed Senate Bill 2 which would put $45 million towards social services to help pregnant women and $5 million to increase the adoption tax credit. This legislation seems to have support from both Democrats and Republicans.

As for inflation legislation, both the House and Senate have filed very different bills. On the Senate side, Senate Bill 3would cap the gas tax at 29.5 cents per gallon until June of next year. Plus, it would suspend the sales tax on residential utilities for six months.

The House has filed House Bill 1001.This bill would provide an automatic taxpayer refund of $225 to Hoosiers, something Holcomb has supported since inflation hit its peak.

Both the House and the Senate will meet tomorrow. The House will reconvene at 10 a.m. and the Senate will meet at 11 a.m.