INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana lawmakers return to the Statehouse as the summer special session continues Thursday.
The House was scheduled to be in session at 9 a.m. to discuss Senate Bill 1 on abortion and Senate Bill 2, an inflation relief measure that includes a $225 taxpayer refund.
The House decided to go into recess until 11 a.m. after beginning its session. Republicans and Democrats both went into caucus. Lawmakers later announced they would reconvene at 11:30 a.m. before pushing the time back to 12 p.m. and then 12:30 p.m. House Republicans then announced plans to reconvene at 1:15 p.m.
Rep. Timothy Wesco opened the session with a tribute to Rep. Jackie Walorski, who died in a car crash in Elkhart County Wednesday.
SB1 passed in the Senate 26-20, garnering just enough votes to advance to the other chamber. A House committee heard public testimony on the measure and approved several amendments earlier this week.
An additional 86 amendments have been filed. You can watch the session here.
Here’s what the House decided on some of the amendments proposed Thursday:
- Amendment 10, which passed in a voice vote, rewords the mother’s health exception as “when reasonable medical judgment dictates that performing the abortion is necessary to prevent any serious health risk to the pregnant woman or to save the pregnant woman’s life.”
- Amendment 20, which failed in a 31-69 vote, would’ve removed the rape and incest exceptions; the amendment was at the center of passionate comments from supporters and opponents.
- Amendment 23, which failed in a 32-68 vote, would’ve put a public question on the ballot regarding abortion, allowing Hoosiers to weigh in with a non-binding opinion.
- Amendment 26, which failed in a 35-65 vote, would have eliminated the “lethal fetal anomaly” exception.
- Amendment 76, which failed in a 6-93 vote, would effectively ban abortion altogether through Indiana code. Under the amendment, a woman could be charged with a Level 1 Felony. A House point of order was raised contending the amendment violated House rules, sending the session into recess. The point was then withdrawn.
- Amendment 69, which failed in a voice vote, would prohibit practitioners from prescribing, ordering, distributing, supplying, or selling drugs for erectile dysfunction or sexual impotence.
- Amendment 73 failed in a voice vote
- Amendment 60, which failed would require four physicians to be appointed to the medical licensing board.
- Amendment 57, which failed, would change the standard of review for the Attorney General to make sure the evidence that a physician performed an illegal abortion would be “clear and convincing.”
- Amendment 39, which failed on a voice vote and a standing vote, requires a physician to list which exceptions was the reason for an abortion on the form that’s given to the state.
- Amendment 58, which failed in a 29-67 vote, would change the definition of fatal fetal anomaly to where the fetus suffers from an irremediable medical condition that is incompatible with sustained life outside the womb, regardless of when the child is born.
- Amendment 47, which failed in a 32-62 vote would provide religious freedom exemptions to the abortion law.
- Amendment 22, which failed in a 35-61 vote, would reinstate language in existing law that requires a pregnant minor to get parental consent.
- Amendment 54, which failed in a 33-63 vote, would require employers to provide reasonable workplace accommodations for pregnant employees.
- Amendment 32, which failed in a 34-64 vote, would allow all abortions up to 13 weeks.
- Amendment 52, which failed in a 32-66 vote, would require physicians, physician assistants and nurses to have continuing education on implicit bias.
- Amendment 55, which failed in a 26-71 vote, would replace the language in SB1 with the law that is currently in place in Indiana.
- Amendment 64, which failed in a 38-62 vote, would expand the timeline for abortions due to rape and incest to 20 weeks.
- Amendment 42, which failed in a 33-54 vote would delay the bill from taking effect until November 1.
- Amendment 46, which failed in a 30-65 vote would allow equal numbers to a legislative task force studying the issue of prosecutors categorically refusing to prosecute certain laws.
- Amendment 51, which failed in a 33-54 vote, would create a pregnancy termination review subcommittee.
- Amendment 11, which passed on a voice vote, makes the date the legislation would become effective September 15.
The house wrapped up the debate. A final vote is scheduled for Friday. The bill must return to the Senate because of the changes.
Earlier, House amendments in committee tempered some Senate provisions, including one that would permit the state’s attorney general to prosecute crimes if local prosecutors decline. Instead, the House version called for the creation of an “oversight board” to make determinations in specific cases.
Other House amendments changed the mother’s health exception, altering the language to include the “permanent impairment of the life or physical health of the pregnant woman.” The Senate version only covered impairment of a mother’s life.
Another House change removed the affidavit requirement for the rape and incest exception. The House also adopted a standard 10-week post-fertilization deadline for rape or incest survivors regardless of age. The Senate mandated 8- or 12-week deadlines depending on age.
The House amended the bill to add a “lethal fetal anomaly” exception that didn’t appear in the Senate version. The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee advanced the legislation in an 8-5 vote Tuesday.
Senate and House lawmakers remain divided on their economic relief measures. The House Ways and Means Committee stripped Senate Bill 2 of the Hoosier Families First Fund, a $45 million measure to that would establish a fund to support families.
The committee instead replaced it with language from House Bill 1001, which includes a $225 direct payment for Hoosiers and additional adoption resources, among other provisions.
The original House Bill 1001 passed with overwhelming support in the House, 93-2.
Here’s what the House decided on some of the amendments proposed Thursday:
- Amendment 37, which passed in a 67-28 vote would reduce the taxpayer rebate to $200 per taxpayer. However, people who didn’t file taxes can apply for it in 2023 as a credit. It also caps the gas sales tax at 29.5 cents per gallon through June. It also incorporates the Senate’s proposed $45 million Hoosier Families First Fund.
- Amendment 10, which failed 48-49, expands on the contraceptive language, allows pharmacists to directly provide hormonal contraception including the patch and pill without a medical prescription. This eliminates the need for a separate visit to a health care provider to obtain a prescription.
- Amendment 36, failed in a 32-58 vote, would have created a grant program providing funding to community organizations focused on reducing the maternity mortality rate.
- Amendment 13, which failed in a 27-60 vote would increase the amount of the automatic tax refund from $225 to $325.
- Amendment 7, failed 30-57 and deals with Real Alternatives. The money that is distributed to them must be used in Indiana and for services performed in Indiana.
The House is set to vote on the bill tomorrow.
In an equivocal move Wednesday, the Senate Committee on Tax and Fiscal Policy stripped House Bill 1001 of its original language, replacing it with the language from Senate Bill 2 and Senate Bill 3. SB3 is the Senate’s centerpiece plan for inflation relief, which includes a six-month holiday on the utilities tax and a cap on the state’s gas tax.
The Senate was scheduled to gavel in its session at 1:30 p.m. to discuss the reworked version of HB 1001. However, lawmakers rescheduled their session for 1:30 p.m. Friday.