Indiana OKs Opt Out of Obamacare Abortion Funding, Fetal Pain Bill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 30, 2011   |   6:31PM   |   Indianapolis, IN

The Indiana state House of Representatives today approved two key pro-life bills that carry multiple provisions pro-life organizations strongly supported — including a bill on fetal pain and the abortion funding in Obamacare.

The House passed HB 1210 by a 72-23 margin and the measure requires abortion practitioners to tell women considering an abortion that the life of the baby they could otherwise give birth to begin 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.

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.

The legislation also requires abortion practitioners to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Having the ability to admit patients is important because abortions frequently pose medical problems for women and sometimes result in life-threatening injuries that would require them to be transported immediately to a legitimate medical center that can properly treat them.

The measure also contains provisions opting-out Indiana from abortion coverage required under state health exchanges under the new federal Obamacare health care law and a requirement that women considering abortions be given an expanded range of information provided both orally and in writing.

Rep. Mark Messmer, a Republican, won an 8-5 committee vote  to add more regulations — making it so women would be given information before the abortion on the research showing its link to breast cancer, and another showing women how they can get child support payments from a partner who may want them to get an abortion, and language making it so an abortion can’t be done after 20 weeks of pregnancy except to save the life of the mother.

The House also approved HB 1474 by a 83-11 margin, which requires changing the state’s abortion reporting law to require that abortions done on girls under the age of 14 be reported to authorities within three days of the abortion in order to streamline the reporting of child sexual abuse. The bill also requires that abortion reports list the age or estimated age of the father as another provision to help authorities identify potential cases of child sexual abuse.

Both bills now move to the Indiana Senate for consideration.

“We applaud the Indiana House and its leadership for taking decisive action in passing these much-need initiatives,” Indiana Right to Life president Mike Fichter told “These bills represent common sense provisions that the vast majority of Hoosiers can agree on.  We are confident that the Senate will now take equally swift action in moving this legislation forward.” 

In February, the Indiana Senate passed 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.

The bill 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, co-sponsored by Sen. Pat Miller, Sen. Dennis Kruse, and Sen. Jim Banks, passed by an overwhelming 39-9 margin.

How the Indiana House voted:

Roll call on House Bill 1474

Roll call on House Bill 1210