Indiana Senate Passes Bill to Improve Information on Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 22, 2011   |   4:56PM   |   Indianapolis, IN

The Indiana state Senate passed today a pro-life bill that would improve the informed consent requirements for abortion practitioners before an abortion is performed. The idea is to continue to provide women information that may help women find better alternatives.

Indiana Right to Life is applauding the Indiana Senate’s passage today of Senate Bill 328, a bill that will dramatically improve the level of information that women must receive when considering abortion. Among key provisions of the bill is a requirement that informed consent information be delivered in writing and that women receive information on the risks of infection, hemorrhage, breast cancer, infertility, and the unborn child’s ability to feel pain.

The bill requires abortion practitioners to tell women considering an abortion that the life of the baby they could otherwise give birth to began at conception and that scientific evidence reveals the unborn child will likely experience significant pain during the abortion at or before 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The bill also contains a provision requiring that doctors who do abortions in Indiana maintain local hospital admitting privileges. That’s important in cases of botched abortions where women are killed or injured in a failed abortion and need the kind of immediate medical care and treatment an abortion center is not designed to provide.

The bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Pat Miller, Sen. Dennis Kruse, and Sen. Jim Banks, passed by an overwhelming 39-9 margin. It now moves to the Indiana House where it is expected to find strong support.

“We applaud the Indiana Senate under the leadership of Senate President Pro-Tempore David Long in moving his important legislation forward,” Indiana Right to Life president Mike Fichter told “We are confident that many more women will choose alternatives to abortion once they receive the information required under this bill.  When this bill becomes law, abortion providers will no longer be able to keep women in the dark.”

Indiana Right to Life is urging the House to take quick action in passing SB 328 now that the bill has passed the full Senate. [related]

A similar bill received the support of the Senate previously, but stalled in the General Assembly. However, turnover in the state House following statewide elections that sent new pro-life legislators to Indianapolis could make it so the measure faces better prospects in the lower chamber.

Detractors of the bill said it should be rejected because it would be giving women a religious opinion, but the lawmakers pointed to science and research showing the development of unborn children and their capacity to feel significant pain.