by Steven Ertelt
March 15, 2006
Indianapolis, IN (LifeNews.com) — An Indiana bill that would have required abortion practitioners to inform women that unborn babies feel significant pain during an abortion has missed a legislative deadline and died for the session.
The House-approved measure never received a Senate vote before lawmakers adjourned Tuesday night.
The state House previously approved the measure on a bipartisan 75 to 23 vote, but the state Senate never debated and voted on it.
Republican Senator Jeff Drozda, who is pro-life, told the Associated Press he was disappointed the bill never came up on the Senate side, but he indicated he would try again next year to get the measure through the legislature.
Last month, the Senate Health and Provider Services Committee weakened the bill by removing provisions telling them that life begins at conception. It also removed the fetal pain provision originally on the measure in the House.
Had the Senate voted on the bill, all that remained of it was language telling women considering abortions 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 committee and she claimed the changes were necessary because of conflicting medical testimony during hearings on the bill.
At the time, Maureen Leyden, of Indiana Right to Life, said the pro-life group would try to restore the original provisions to the bill.
Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana, said the abortion business still opposed the bill but she was glad it had been weakened.
"This certainly is a more favorable place than we were in," she said.
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.
Related web sites:
Indiana Right to Life – https://www.indianalife.org