The Journal Gazette
Friday, September 03, 2021 1:00 am

Brown files Texas-style anti-abortion bill

Won't be acted on during special session

NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

INDIANAPOLIS – Republican state Sen. Liz Brown of Fort Wayne is filing a Texas-style abortion bill but said it won't be acted on this month when lawmakers return for redistricting.

Brown said she logged a request with Indiana's Legislative Services Agency to draft the bill for the 2022 session starting in January.

She doused the idea that lawmakers could pass the law when they are in Indianapolis crafting new district boundaries for Congress and legislative seats.

“The special session in September will only be dealing with redistricting,” Brown said.

House Speaker Todd Huston said the bill filing deadline has already passed “and our plan is to only consider the redistricting legislation when we reconvene later this month.”

He added that Indiana is “closely watching what's happening in Texas in regards to their new pro-life law, including any legal challenges. Indiana is one of the most pro-life states in the country, and we'll continue to examine ways to further protect life at all stages.”

Although legislators can't file new bills for the redistricting session, there are vehicle bills that already exist. Vehicle bills are filed with no language in them as a home for anything in case of emergency. In fact, those are bills that lawmakers will use for the redistricting maps.

Late Wednesay night, a divided U.S. Supreme Court allowed the Texas ban on abortions past six weeks to stand. It is the nation's biggest curb to abortion rights since the court announced in its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that women have a constitutional right to abortion.

The court voted 5-4 to deny an emergency appeal from abortion providers and others but also suggested that their order likely wasn't the last word and other challenges can be brought.

The Texas law prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, usually around six weeks and before many women know they're pregnant. Lawmakers there wrote the law to evade federal court review by allowing private citizens to bring lawsuits in state court against anyone involved in an abortion, other than the patient. Other abortion laws are enforced by state and local officials, with criminal sanctions possible.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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