by Steven Ertelt
January 12, 2008
Indianapolis, IN (LifeNews.com) — Indiana lawmakers will likely debate a bill similar to one proposed in the last legislative session that gives women information on the pain babies feel during an abortion. Last year, a Senate committee removed the pain information from the bill and just left in information about life beginning at the point of conception.
Sen. Patricia Miller, a Republican frequently at the forefront of pro-life bills, is behind the revised measure this year, known as Senate Bill 146.
The Senate Judiciary Committee debated the bill on Thursday but did not take a vote on it.
During the debate, representatives of Indiana Right to Life, the Indiana Catholic Conference, and Advance America testified in favor of the legislation while Planned Parenthood officials spoke against it.
According to an Indianapolis Star news report, Miller told the Panel that the bill is important so women can have the facts before they make an abortion decision. Pro-life groups hope the information will persuade some women to decide against it.
"This decision is a life decision, and many people who have abortions never forget they had an abortion," Miller said. "So I think we ought to help them as much as we can before as opposed to afterward."
The bill may have better prospects this year than last year if only because Miller softened the language in it, the Star indicated.
Last year’s measure requires abortion practitioners to tell women that the baby might feel pain and this year’s bill changes the language to say "there are differing medical opinions concerning when a fetus feels pain."
Sue Swayze, of Indiana Right to Life, told the Star she hopes the bill will do better this year.
"We think that it’s important to provide this information, especially in writing," Swayze said. "An abortion is an emotional issue, and we sometimes may not always remember everything we hear."
A vote on the bill and amendments to it is expected next week.
This week, an Indiana Senate panel approved a bill providing for a pharmacist’s conscience clause. The measure allows the medical professionals to opt out of dispensing drugs that could cause an abortion or be used in an assisted suicide.
The Indiana state health department reported in 2005 that there are just under 11,000 abortions there.