Historic pro-life life legislation moved one step closer to becoming law today as the Indiana House formally concurred on House Bill 1210, sending the bill to Governor Mitch Daniels.
The provisions contained in the bill will amount to the most substantial block of pro-life legislation passed in Indiana since the Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973 and they include one revoking taxpayer funding through the state government for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
The bill presents a challenge for Daniels, who has advocated a truceon social issues in the Republican Party. Signing the bill would win Daniels support from pro-life advocates nationwide who are very concerned about his truce talk — but a veto would virtually assure him strong opposition from pro-life advocates should he decide to run for president.
House Bill 1210 contains provisions to end all state-directed funding for businesses that do abortions, to protect pain-capable unborn children beginning at 20 weeks, to opt-out of abortion coverage in any state health exchanges required under the new federal health law, to require that women considering abortion be given full, factual information in writing, and to require doctors who do abortions, or their designees, to maintain local hospital admitting privileges in order to streamline access to emergency care for women injured by abortion.
“This legislation places Indiana on the vanguard of efforts to protect the unborn, to deny public funds to businesses that profit from abortion, and to ensure that women considering abortion have full and factual information about such issues as fetal development and alternatives to abortion,” states Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter. “We applaud Republican leadership in the House and Senate for its decisive action and will urge Governor Daniels to waste no time in signing these important provisions into law.”
Daniels has a pro-life record as governor but he has upset pro-life voters repeatedly with his comment supporting a truce on social issues like abortion. As recently as mid-March, Daniels said he remains committed to the social issues truce — which advocates putting abortion on the back burner while the next president tackles the challenges of turning around the beleaguered economy.
But he will face significantly more criticism if he vetoes a bill the Indiana state Senate gave final approval to 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 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.
Spokeswoman Jane Jankowski says Daniels has not made any decision on the legislation yet and will wait to see if the House signs off on the Senate’s decision to include the Planned Parenthood de-funding provision in the bill. While he faces lobbying from pro-life advocates to sign the measure, Planned Parenthood is already threatening to sue the state if Daniels signs the legislation into law.
Daniels has repeatedly said he is waiting to make a decision on a 2012 presidential bid until this year’s legislative session wraps up. That points to a potential early May decision.