Indiana Senate Panel OKs Fetal Pain Abortion Ban Bill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 13, 2011   |   4:36PM   |   Indianapolis, IN

The Indiana state Senate Health Committee voted 6-2 today for a pro-life bill that 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.

The bill bans abortions after that point compared with the current state law allowing abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, when unborn children are viable.

During committee consideration, lawmakers removed from the bill a requirement that abortion practitioners tell women about the risk of breast cancer, which has been proven to be linked to induced abortions. They also removed language that would have allowed Indiana to opt out of paying for abortions under the Obamacare health care law.

Mike Fichter, the president of Indiana Right to Life, commented on that and said the “Indiana Senate must find another vehicle for opt-out or abortion coverage will be included in state health exchanges under new federal law.”

While representatives of other pro-life groups like the Indiana Family Institute and Advance America joined Indiana Right to Life in supporting the bill, former Indiana LG Kathy Davis opposed it as did Planned Parenthood of Indiana’s CEO, who argued against HB 1210 as government intervention yet demands millions in state and federal funding.

The panel also rejected on a 6-4 vote an amendment by pro-abortion Sen. Vi Simpson that would redefine abortifacients as contraceptives.

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 House passed HB 1210 by a 72-23 margin in March.