The Indiana state Senate gave final approval to a bill that would cut off state taxpayer funding to the Planned Parenthood abortion business and ban abortions after 20 weeks based on the scientific evidence showing unborn babies feel pain.
The vote for the bill came a week after Democrats in the U.S. Senate voted down a House Republican measure yanking federal funding. The Indiana bill would cut off Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood, denying the abortion business $3 million annually in taxpayer funds.
State senators voted to add a measure that was not brought up earlier in the year to a larger pro-life bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy because unborn children are capable of feeling massive pain at that point in pregnancy. The state Senate voted 36 to 13 to add the de-funding provision to HB 1210, which has the strong support of pro-life groups like Indiana Right to Life and the Indiana Family Institute.
Then, yesterday, the Senate voted 35-13 for the full bill, and now HB 1210 heads to the House for a final vote before going to Governor Mitch Daniels.
Sen. Michael Young, a Republican who co-sponsored the bill, said it was important that “taxpayers will no longer fund an organization that provides abortion as part of their services that they give to the public.” Sen. Patricia Miller, another Republican who sponsored the bill, added, it “helps women with objective scientific information.”
The measure also requires abortion practitioners to tell women that abortion has been linked to infertility.
Indiana Right to Life applauded the vote and said the bill is good because it removes all state-directed funding from Indiana abortion businesses, protects pain-capable unborn children beginning at 20-weeks, opts-out Indiana from abortion coverage under state health exchanges required under the new federal health law, improves the scope of information provided to women considering abortion, and requires doctors who do abortions to maintain local hospital admitting privileges.
“The Indiana Senate is sending a resounding message that our state is solidly behind policies that respect the sanctity of life,” IRTL president Mike Fichter said. “This is a monumental day for unborn children, their moms, and for Hoosier taxpayers.”
Sue Swayze, legislative director of Indiana Right to Life, added that customers of Planned Parenthood have plenty of options available to them and that about 100 other clinics offer low-income women legitimate medical care. Also, Open Door Health Services has said it plans to double the number of patients it serves by 2014, according to the Indianapolis Star.
Republican Sens. Vaneta Becker of Evansville, Phil Boots of Crawfordsville, Luke Kenley of Noblesville and Sue Landske of Cedar Lake voted aginst the bill while Democratic Sens. Lindel Hume of Princeton, Tim Skinner of Terre Haute and Richard Young of Milltown voted for the pro-life legislation.
The amendment is similar to a bill Republican Rep. Matt Ubelhor offered earlier in the legislative session that failed on a procedural hurdle when state Democrats walked out of the legislature in a manner similar to Democrats in Wisconsin who received national attention.
ACTION: Contact your House legislators at http://www.in.gov/legislative/index.htm and urge them to support HB 1210.