Indiana Republicans vote down rape exception, calling it a 'giant loophole'

Republican Indiana state Rep. Eric Turner insisted this week that women will pretend to be raped just to get around proposed abortion laws.

Turner legislation, HB 1210, would impose some of the strictest restrictions on abortion in the country. Under his bill, abortions after 20 weeks would be illegal in Indiana. Abortions are currently illegal after around 24 weeks, when some say the fetus becomes viable life.

State Rep. Gail Riecken (D) offered an amendment Tuesday that would create an exemption for women who are victims of rape or incest. The amendment would have also exempted women whose life was threatened by their pregnancy.

Taking exception with that last amendment, Turner argued that the exemption would be misused by women who want abortions.

"I just want you to think about this, in my view, giant loophole that could be created where someone who could — now I want to be careful, I don’t want to disparage in any way someone who has gone through the experience of a rape or incest — but someone who is desirous of an abortion could simply say that they’ve been raped or there’s incest," he said.

"Outraged by Turner's allegation, state Rep. Linda Lawson (D) -- who spent six years as a sex crimes investigator for the Indiana police -- delivered an emotional rebuke," Think Progress reported.

"Women don't make this up!" she reportedly said. "My Goodness! This is the state of Indiana!"

The exception for rape victims was ultimately voted down, 54-42, but House members did see fit to pass HB 1210 by a vote of 71-23.

The bill now goes to the state Senate for a final vote.

"The fact that a similar measure has passed the state Senate makes it likely that some version of the legislation will reach Gov. Mitch Daniels' desk," according to The Indianapolis Star.

This video of the Indiana state House was uploaded by Think Progress on March 30, 2011.