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Indiana House lays out schedule for abortion ban; public testimony set for Tuesday

The interior of the Indiana House Chamber, as seen from the back of the balcony. There is a large chandelier hanging from the ceiling. Behind it, on the far wall, is a mural. Below is the House floor, with desks for lawmakers. In the center against the back wall is the Speaker's rostrum, a raised platform from which the Speaker presides over the chamber.
Brandon Smith
IPB News
The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee will take public testimony on the proposed abortion ban at a meeting held in the Indiana House Chamber.

The public will get likely its last chance to testify on the proposed abortion ban Tuesday, during a House committee hearing.

The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee will take public testimony on the proposed abortion ban starting Tuesday at 9 a.m. Committee Chair Wendy McNamara (R-Evansville) – who’s also the House sponsor of the bill – said she wants to hear from as many people as possible but would not commit to allowing every person who signs up to speak.

House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said his members have already been taking feedback on the measure.

"There's opportunities to provide written testimony," Huston said. "This is a topic that's been talked about for a long time, including over there in the Senate. And, you know, at some point, you have to continue to move forward with the process. We want to hear from people - we will hear from a lot of people."

READ MORE: What happened in the first week of Indiana’s special session? And what’s next?

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Some question why the Courts and Criminal Code Committee – and not the Public Health Committee – is hearing a bill that deals with a medical procedure.

"A lot of the subject matter that's being discussed – the code cites and those types of things – are topics and code that Chairwoman McNamara and the rest of the committee are used to," Huston said.

The measure changes parts of the Indiana code in 12 different "articles." That includes four under health and four under criminal law.

Assuming the bill is approved by the committee, it then heads to the House floor. The full House is scheduled to consider amendments to the bill Thursday and would then vote on the bill Friday.

If it makes changes to the legislation and approves it, the bill has to go back to the Senate, which can either agree to those changes with a single vote by the full chamber or take the measure to conference committee for further negotiations.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.