In Indiana, Republican lawmakers propose ban on most abortions

FILE PHOTO: Protest in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision, in Washington
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(Reuters) - Indiana Republican lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a bill that would ban abortion except in cases of rape, incest or medical emergency, a measure likely to win passage that would dramatically cut abortion access in the Midwestern state.

The legislature is expected to take up the bill in a special session starting next week. It is one of the first state bills seeking to sharply restrict abortion access introduced since the U.S. Supreme Court last month overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

Indiana currently permits abortion up to 22 weeks after the last menstrual period, with several additional restrictions.

In a statement posted to Twitter, the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana called the proposal an "appalling attack on abortion access."

The bill, introduced by Republican State Senator Sue Glick, comes as the story of a 10-year-old's abortion in Indiana has captured the national spotlight.

The child rape victim traveled to Indiana to get her abortion because she was unable to do so in her home state of Ohio. Ohio implemented a ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy when Roe v. Wade was overturned.

Abortion rights activists have held up the girl's case as an example of the consequences of Roe v. Wade's reversal. Abortion opponents initially cast doubt on the truth of the story, which was first reported by the Indianapolis Star. The report relied on the account of Indiana doctor Caitlin Bernard, who performed the girl's abortion.

Bernard's account was corroborated when an Ohio man was charged on July 13 with raping the girl who traveled to Indiana for her abortion.

(Reporting by Gabriella Borter; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)