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Protesting against abortion restrictions, but still no answers on what will be in abortion legislation

The Special Session began on July 6, but Republicans will not come back until July 25 as they work on legislation to bring to the session
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Posted at 2:17 AM, Jul 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-07 11:25:33-04

INDIANAPOLIS — On Wednesday, over the course of several hours, protesters rallied against abortion restrictions at the Statehouse.

"This was just another step in a way that they can tell us what we can and cannot do with our bodies," Shanine Delph, a protester, said.

"This isn't about abortion. This is about women's rights," Dawn Fischer, another protester, said.

Fischer and Delph spent hours with hundreds of other protesters, frustrated and outraged at the thought of abortion access being restricted in Indiana.

"This is standing up for the women who never had a choice. This is standing up for the women who just had their choice taken away from them. This is for the past, the present, and the future," Delph said.

While Republicans have not answered our questions directly about the abortion legislation they're working on, public statements from lawmakers after Roe v. Wade make it clear that Indiana's abortion laws will change later this month.

What we don't know is whether new abortion laws will still allow the procedure in cases of rape, incest, or if the mother's life is in danger. Fischer said she knows the pain of the latter situation all too well

"I had an ectopic pregnancy. I was in my late 20s. It would have been the late 80s. I was rushed into emergency surgery because I was hemorrhaging," she said.

Fischer explained that she wanted to have the child, but was grateful there were no hold ups when it was determined she would die if the surgical procedure wasn't done. She's now a mom to three kids which wouldn't have been possible without getting treated for her ectopic pregnancy.

Dawn Fischer with her children
Dawn Fischer with her three children. Picture was taken for Mother's Day 2022

Although all the 18 states expected to ban abortion have exceptions, experts say unclear language could impact treatment for an ectopic pregnancy. There is some overlap in the way ectopic pregnancies are treated and how pregnancies are electively terminated through abortion, that overlap appears to be small. The larger issue is whether medical providers interpret restrictive abortion laws as limiting their ability to treat patients who present with ectopic pregnancies, which can be life-threatening. How providers respond could depend on how “abortion” is defined under state laws.

RELATED: How treatment of ectopic pregnancy fits into post-Roe medical care

Along with the potential health risks women could face, both Delph and Fischer worry about more children who could be born into poverty. They want Republicans, who control the Statehouse, to turn their attention to the kids who will be born if they ban abortion.

"If they're going to force people to have children, then they need to take care of those children. They need to stop making it seem like tax payer dollars are going to welfare. By this choice, you're creating this situation," Delph said. "You need to stop shaming women for being on welfare and needing help. You need to offer more possibilities for these children."

Republican leaders in both the Indiana House and Senate have addressed those concerns about support for babies and mothers. After the Supreme Court decision on Roe v Wade, Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray released a statement. A portion of it is below

"We can begin to formulate a policy that is right for Indiana that protects unborn children and cares for the health and lives of mothers and their babies."

House Speaker Todd Huston also released a statement. A portion of that is below.

"I strongly believe we'll couple any action with expanding resources and services to support pregnant mothers, and care for their babies before and after birth."

July 25 is when Republican lawmakers plan to go back to the Statehouse.

There's no word on if we'll have information about the abortion legislation they plan to introduce prior to that date.

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