July 13, 2022

Indiana governor won't specify anti-abortion steps he backs

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks with reporters after an Indiana Black Expo event at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Tuesday, July 12, 2022. Holcomb sidestepped taking a stance on how far the Republican-dominated Legislature should go in further restricting abortions in the state when lawmakers begin a special session on July 25. - AP Photo/Tom Davies

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb speaks with reporters after an Indiana Black Expo event at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Tuesday, July 12, 2022. Holcomb sidestepped taking a stance on how far the Republican-dominated Legislature should go in further restricting abortions in the state when lawmakers begin a special session on July 25.

AP Photo/Tom Davies

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb sidestepped taking a stance Tuesday on how far the Republican-dominated Legislature should go in restricting abortions when state lawmakers begin a special session in less than two weeks.

Republican legislative leaders have provided no details on whether they will push for a full abortion ban or allow exceptions, such as in cases of rape, incest or to protect the woman’s life.

The Republican governor told reporters Tuesday that he has been discussing the issue with lawmakers but he wouldn’t say what provisions he wants to see in the bill that will be taken up after the special legislative session starts July 25.

“I am comfortable saying I want to make progress to protect innocent life and I will continue to be,” Holcomb said.

Democrats have criticized Republicans for delaying the special session, originally scheduled to begin July 6, and for holding private meetings to discuss provisions of the bill.

Indiana’s debate comes as more restrictive abortion laws have already taken effect in several Republican-led states following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month to end constitutional protection for abortion.

Holcomb said he believes lawmakers are listening to voters ahead of the session that is set to last about three weeks. When asked whether Republicans lack a consensus on the issue, Holcomb responded: “Well, we’re not drones. I mean, we have opinions and they differ, right? And that’s good and we can learn from one another.”

The governor said two weeks ago that he had no “red lines” on what anti-abortion measures lawmakers might consider. But he said Tuesday that he did not mean “anything goes. I would never approach any issue that way.”

“I have not laid out any ultimatums to say, ‘This is what should be in or shouldn’t be in, or can be in or couldn’t be in’ for me,” Holcomb said.

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