August 5, 2022, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States: Abortion rights activists react after the Indiana Senate votes to ban abortion, inside the Indiana State house during a special session in Indianapolis. The legislature held a special session to ban abortion rights in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade in June. Holcomb signed the bill into law. Indianapolis United States - ZUMAs197 20220805_zaa_s197_270 Copyright: xJeremyxHoganx

Indiana has enacted sweeping restrictions on access to abortion. Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the law passed by both Houses of Parliament in the Midwestern United States on Friday evening (local time).

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called it a “devastating move” that followed the Supreme Court’s “extreme decision.”

Once the law goes into effect on September 15, Indiana, home to around 6.7 million people, will only be able to have an abortion after rape, incest, a fatal fetal malformation, or if the pregnant woman is at risk of death or serious health problems.

Prior to Indiana, several US states had passed so-called trigger laws banning abortion, pending a Supreme Court ruling, which took effect immediately after the ruling. In Indiana, however, there was no such law, the state had previously had a comparatively liberal abortion law. Abortions were permitted up to the 22nd week.

Alexis McGill Johnson, chair of Planned Parenthood, which campaigns for abortion rights, called the law “cruel” and “devastating”.

US President Joe Biden’s spokeswoman, Jean-Pierre, called on the US Congress to “promptly” introduce legislation restoring the rights for women that existed prior to the Supreme Court’s landmark decision.

On June 24, the Supreme Court issued the landmark ruling “Roe v. Wade” of 1973, which had enshrined a nationwide fundamental right to abortion. The decision caused a political earthquake and is considered a historical turning point. Since there is no federal law on abortion, states have since been able to largely or completely ban abortion.