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Indiana's Democratic Candidates Sign Contract to Protect Abortion Rights

Indiana's Democratic Candidates Sign Contract to Protect Abortion Rights

With the midterm elections just three weeks away, Indiana Democrats are pushing a "contract with women."

With only three weeks until the midterm elections, Indiana Democrats are appealing to women voters by having each candidate from the party sign a "contract with women" that promises to protect abortion rights.

Indiana has been called one of the "most pro-life states in the nation," as a bill passed in August completed banned abortion at any stage of pregnancy, no matter how early. While the bill includes exceptions for rape, incest, and health complications, state Republicans heavily pushed to remove those provisions.

Women who seek abortions in Indiana are not allowed to be legally punished, but healthcare providers who perform the procedure face a felony charge with a $10,000 fine and up to six years in prison. The bill went into effect September 15 after approval from the Republican governor and majority-Republican State Senate and House.

To combat their opponent's harmful legislation and to sway more voters, Democrats in Indiana have added a new ritual to their dozens of remaining campaign events. Until campaigning ends on October 28, each Democratic candidate will publicly sign a "contract with women," which will not only protect abortion and contraceptive access, but will remove the tax on feminine hygiene products.

On top of that, the contract also promises that Democrats will fight to decrease Indiana's maternal mortality rate, pass new workplace accommodations for pregnant people, and begin statewide pre-kindergarten programs that would improve access to childcare and education.

As the Supreme Court's recent ruling casts an unfavorable light on the party, Republicans have largely avoided the subject of abortion on their campaign trails. GOP officials have pushed bans in several states across the country following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, despite 60 percent of voters believing abortion should be legal and accessible.

On the opposite side, in an effort to draw more voters, local and national Democratic candidates have based their platforms on bodily autonomy. Experts say this strategy has been increasingly successful, with abortion access swaying an unprecedented amount of voters to support Democratic candidates.

Indianapolis Democratic Representative Carey Hamilton, who is running for re-election and created this contract angle for the last of the campaign tour, told IndyStar: "I want to make sure that women know that this November eighth is the time that they can make a difference for their personal freedom and autonomy when it comes to reproductive health."

Hamilton continued: "I do think that women can come and help us flip some seats and make a difference in Indiana."

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