Lying About Rape Dangerous Under Abortion Ban Passed by Indiana Senate

Women could face criminal prosecution for lying about rape to obtain an abortion under a new bill passed by the Indiana state Senate on Saturday.

The bill comes as reproductive rights are being rolled back across the United States in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, the decision that previously guaranteed abortion rights. Several Republican-led states instantly banned the procedure, and others, including Indiana, are passing new restrictions on abortion.

Indiana's bill passed the senate on Saturday after weeks of debate about whether or not it should feature exceptions for rape and incest. Many states are considering bans that wouldn't allow rape victims to get an abortion, even though an overwhelming majority of Americans support these exceptions, according to polls.

Ultimately, Indiana's bill will allow an exception for rape or incest but still does have some limits, according to Fort Wayne's NBC News station.

Indiana bill makes lying about rape dangerous
The Indiana Senate passed a bill Saturday that would allow the criminal prosecution of anybody who lies about rape to receive an abortion. Above, protesters are seen outside the Indiana State Capitol building on July 25, 2022. Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Anyone seeking an abortion citing either exception would be required to sign a notarized affidavit attesting to the attack, the news station reported.

If somebody lies about being a victim of rape to receive an abortion, they could face criminal prosecution if the bill passes and is signed into law, according to the news station.

The bill will likely be met with support in Indiana's Republican-controlled state House, and Governor Eric Holcomb said in June that he has "no red lines" on a potential abortion ban but has not commented on the specific bill. Newsweek reached out to his office for comment.

The bill was met with criticism from both abortion rights advocates, who condemned the state legislature for passing a bill restricting the procedure, as well as anti-abortion advocates who fought against the inclusion of the limited exceptions..

Mark Hosbein, a protester, condemned the exceptions when questioned by the Associated Press. "It's wrong to try to kill the mother to save the baby, and it's wrong to try to kill the baby to save the mother. There are all kinds of limits, restrictions and everything going on here. But I'm here in hopes of stopping the whole thing," he said.

Exceptions for Rape, Incest Divide Republicans in Post-Roe World

As GOP-led state legislatures move to ban abortion in their states, the issue of including rape and incest exceptions have divided the party beyond Indiana, where a push to pass a more restrictive ban that excluded the exceptions failed to pass the Senate Thursday, the AP reported.

Many GOP-led states such as Florida have passed bills that ban abortion, without exceptions, while Idaho Republicans blocked an amendment to their party platform to support abortion to save a mother's life. But these sorts of policy have drawn criticism from more moderate Republicans.

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu condemned his fellow Republicans for blocking the exceptions when he was questioned about South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem declined to back exceptions.

"I don't agree with that at all. I just don't," Sununu said on CNN's State of the Union earlier in July. "Governor Noem and the folks of South Dakota have to reconcile that."