by Steven Ertelt
February 22, 2006
Indianapolis, IN (LifeNews.com) — As expected, Indiana lawmakers weakened an abortion information bill that would have helped women avoid abortions by telling them that life begins at conception and that the unborn child will feel pain during an abortion.
Those provisions were removed and the remainder of the bill tells women only that adoption is a possibility and a long list of couples throughout the state are waiting to adopt babies from unplanned pregnancies.
Republican Sen. Patricia Miller, who says she is pro-life and is the chairman of the Senate Health and Provider Services Committee, said she thought the changes were necessary because of conflicting medical testimony during hearings on the bill.
Miller told the Associated Press she may still revise some of the provisions of the bill later in the legislative process.
Maureen Leyden, of Indiana Right to Life, said the pro-life group would try to restore the original provisions to the bill.
But Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana, told the Associated Press the abortion business is pleased the bill was weakened.
"This certainly is a more favorable place than we were in a week ago," Cockrum said.
The state House previously backed the fetal pain measure on a 70-30 vote.
Prior to the changes, it required abortion practitioners to tell women considering an abortion at any point in pregnancy that her unborn child may feel pain during the abortion procedure. The information must be given to women at least 18 hours before the abortion so they have time to consider it.
During the committee hearings, representatives of Indiana Right to Life told lawmakers that an unborn child could feel pain as early as seven weeks into pregnancy and pointed out that medical experts say pain is definitely present at 20 weeks into pregnancy.
An April 2004 Zogby poll shows that 77% of Americans back "laws requiring that women who are 20 weeks or more along in their pregnancy be given information about fetal pain before having an abortion."
Only 16 percent disagreed with such a proposal, according to the poll.
The House also signed off 60-38 on House Bill 1080, sponsored by Republican Rep. Marlin Stutzman.
That measure would set appropriate regulations on abortion centers that some say could close them down.
Planned Parenthood strenuously opposes the bill to protect women’s safety because it claims the regulations would require such extensive renovation to their abortion facilities that they might be forced to close.
TAKE ACTION: Contact your state Representative by going to https://www.in.gov/legislative and urge strong support for the bills.
Related web sites:
Indiana Right to Life – https://www.indianalife.org