Indiana Pro-Abortion Senator Pulls Bill Funding "Morning After" Pill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 5, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Indiana Pro-Abortion Senator Pulls Bill Funding "Morning After" Pill

by Maria Gallagher Staff Writer
February 5, 2004

Indianapolis, IN ( — A pro-abortion state Senator has pulled a controversial bill designed to promote the "morning-after" pill. State Senator Vi Simpson told the Associated Press that she is abandoning the legislation because of a letter written by Indiana Right to Life.

Simpson claimed the letter implied that lawmakers who backed the bill could face criticism during their re-election campaigns.

The letter stated that unless an amendment were added defining pregnancy as starting at fertilization, "Indiana Right to Life must consider Senate Bill 62 to be pro-abortion and would ask you to oppose it."

Contrary to the claims of the bill’s supporters, the letter was not threatening, pro-life leaders say.

Without a change in the bill’s language, the legislation could have cleared the way for Medicaid funding for "emergency contraceptives" that sometimes cause abortions.

"These drugs, when used after fertilization has occurred, will terminate a human life," said Mike Fichter, executive director of Indiana Right to Life.

Fichter points out that taxpayer-funded abortions are a crucial issue in Indiana, following a September ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court that dramatically expanded the availability of Medicaid funding for abortions in the Hoosier state.

Simpson told the AP her proposal did not change the state’s abortion law. The lawmaker said it was designed to offer family planning services for people not currently poor enough to qualify for the program.

But pro-life leaders insist the legislation was merely an effort to expand chemical abortions in the state.

"The refusal of abortion supporters to accept an amendment clarifying that human life begins at fertilization only serves as additional evidence that the real issue here was taxpayer funding for abortion-causing drugs like Plan B," Fichter said.

Supporters of the bill included Fort Wayne Feminists, the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, Indiana NOW (National Organization for Women), March of Dimes, Planned Parenthood Advocates, and the Pro-Choice Coalition of Indiana.