Indiana Senate Backs Bill Requiring Abortion Practitioners to Have Hospital Privs

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 4, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Indiana Senate Backs Bill Requiring Abortion Practitioners to Have Hospital Privs

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 4
, 2009

Indianapolis, IN ( — In cases when an abortion goes horribly wrong and the abortion practitioner puts the life of the mother in jeopardy, he should have hospital admitting privileges to admit the patient or otherwise not be allowed to do abortions. That’s the theory behind a bill an Indiana state Senate committee adopted.

Backers of the measure say it is needed to protect women while pro-abortion groups opposed the bill as another means of limiting abortions.

The Senate Health Committee approved the bill on a 5-4 vote and now it heads to the full Senate for consideration. There is some concern the bill may have a tough time in the House, but the measure has at least passed the first step of the legislative process.

The pro-life organizations supporting the bill challenge abortion advocates to support it and make good on their claims to have the best interest of women at heart.

Cathie Humbarger, the executive director of Allen County Right to Life, a pro-life group that supports the bill, told AP, “I am certain that even those who disagree on abortion can agree that women choosing termination should have the aftercare they need."

But Amy Jacobson, a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood of Indiana, claimed the measure is only "about limiting access."

The bill comes after Vanderburgh County approved a local measure last year making sure abortion practitioners there have admitting privileges at local hospitals. Local officials said it is important in the ever-increasing cases of botched abortions where women need immediate medical care.

Under the new ordinance, any doctor doing abortions must disclose to patients the name of the hospital with which admitting privileges are maintained so as to facilitate better follow-up care in the event of post-abortion complications.

Indiana Right to Life president Mike Fichter told, “Regardless of how you feel about the issue of abortion, everyone should applaud the Vanderburgh County Commission for taking this proactive step in making sure that proper safety requirements are in place if a woman experiences complications after an abortion."

Legislative attempts in 2007 and 2008 to enact statewide hospital admitting privileges requirements for doctors performing abortions were approved in the Indiana Senate with overwhelming numbers only to be defeated in the Indiana House by hostile committee assignments.

During the last legislative battle, Ft. Wayne obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Geoff Cly testified before lawmakers and recounted his experience treating women injured by abortion providers and underscored how more medical help is needed for women involved in botched abortions.

According to Americans United for Life, a national pro-life group that promotes state legislation, abortion practitioners in eleven states are required to maintain local hospital admitting privileges.

These states include Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah.

The Vanderburgh County ordinance is thought to be the first locally-passed ordinance addressing the issue.

Related web sites:
Indiana Right to Life –

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