Other Republicans echoed complaints voiced during public testimony from anti-abortion residents, advocacy groups and religious leaders. They wondered how lawmakers who presented themselves to voters as staunch opponents of abortion were now forfeiting the opportunity to pass a no-holds-barred ban on rape and incest. Some opponents of abortion have argued that rape and incest, while traumatic, do not justify ending the life of a fetus that had no control over its conception.
“This bill vindicates the wicked, those who kill babies, and punishes the righteous, the unborn human,” said Rep. John Jacob, a Republican who also voted against the bill. He added: “Republicans campaigned to be pro-life. Pro-life means for life. It’s not just a few lives. It means all lives.
Similar debates unfolded in West Virginia, where the House of Delegates passed a bill banning nearly all abortions. But disagreement erupted when the Senate narrowly decided to remove criminal penalties for medical providers who perform abortions illegally, fearing it would worsen the current shortage of health care workers in the state. The legislation is at a standstill.
Delegate Danielle Walker, a Democrat from West Virginia, said she thought the Kansas abortion referendum was a wake-up call for the more moderate contingent of Republican lawmakers.
“I think they see people going to the polls because people don’t want that, people don’t support it,” Ms Walker said.
Elizabeth Nash, a state policy analyst at the Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights, said Indiana offers a glimpse of the dynamic that could deepen in other legislatures in the coming weeks: the difficulty of pleasing their conservative base in the face of other public opposition. restrictions on abortion.
“In Indiana, lawmakers are now between a rock and a hard place,” she said. “They’re between their base, who demand a ban on abortion without exception, “and members of the public who say, ‘we support access to abortion.’ You can see how lawmakers, balancing people’s rights, are also looking at the upcoming election.”
Ava Sasani contributed report.