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D&E Abortion Ban Clears Senate Committee Along Party Lines

The Senate Judiciary Committee takes testimony on a bill to largely ban a second trimester procedure.

The Senate Judiciary Committee takes testimony on a bill to largely ban a second trimester procedure. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

A Senate panel approved legislation Wednesday along party lines that largely bans dilation and evacuation abortions, second trimester procedures also known as D&Es.

The hours-long hearing yielded no new information in the debate.

Doctors disagree on the issue. Those in favor of the ban claim the fetus feels pain and call the procedure barbaric. Kathy Altman is a retired OB-GYN who used to perform D&Es. She says doctors who still do it don’t have a conscience.

“I stopped doing them after having a baby – finally making that baby-fetal connection – and realizing that I was killing little people,” Altman says.

But other doctors say accepted medical science shows fetuses can’t feel pain at that stage of development. And Caitlin Bernard, who performs D&Es, says they’re the safest procedure for ending a pregnancy in the second trimester.

“The conversation around this legislation has not reflected the realities of medicine,” Bernard says.

The ACLU of Indiana has already said it will sue the state if the bill becomes law.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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