INDIANAPOLIS – We’re just about two weeks away from the midterm elections, and abortion remains one of the defining issues this time around. Now, there’s a new report looking at the potential price tag Indiana could face with it’s new law, currently on hold in the courts.

Cost of abortion legislation

When Republican lawmakers passed a near-total aboriton ban, officials on both sides of the aisle said they anticipated additional costs to the state. The legislature approved roughly $75 million in social services funding as a starting point.

But, a fiscal report from the state’s nonpartisan budget agency predicts more funding would need to come from the state. In a previously undisclosed document, the estimated cost for the Attorney General’s Office to defend Indiana’s abortion law would total $2.75 over the next three fiscal year. Plus, with more Hoosiers being born, estimates show that Indiana would need an additional $55.8 million over three years for healthcare coverage.

Democratic lawmakers, such as State Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) accuse Republicans of not being transparent about the financial impact. He’s particularly critical of the cost of defending the law in court.

“We just needed more transparency,” Rep. Porter said. “It should have gone through Ways and Means [Committee], and deliberately discuss what the impact was going to be. We did not do that.”

State Rep. Porter added that with the huge potential bill, it’s important money that could be used elsewhere. Meanwhile, State Sen. Liz Brown (R-Fort Wayne) argues it’s funds well spent.

“I’m happy to fund more moms and babies through our HIP and CHIP programs,” State Sen. Brown said. “We are making sure that when we say that we’re pro-life, we are pro-life from the beginning and we’re going to fund these programs. And these programs are successful.”

Indiana Democrats unveil “Contract with Women”

The abortion issue was front and center at the Statehouse, as state Democrats released a so-called “Contract with Women” ahead of this year’s midterm elections. State Sen. J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis) says a lot of issues are in the spotlight.

“Supporting our teachers and public schools is on the ballot,” State Sen. Ford said. “Gun reform is on the ballot, LGBTQ rights is on the ballot. So please vote. Vote like your life depends on it, and vote like your rights depend on it.”

This week, we also heard from President Biden on potential federal action on abortion. He signaled his support to codify abortion rights into law. In the meantime, Republicans on Capitol Hill hope to take back Congress by focusing on the economy and high inflation.

Watch more from Indiana lawmakers on the continuing abortion debate in the video above.