Indiana Pro-Life Laws on Abortion Go Into Effect to Help Women

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 1, 2011   |   12:23PM   |   Indianapolis, IN

Two new pro-life laws on abortion are going into effect in Indiana today that will help women by giving them information about abortion and its risks and alternatives that they normally don’t receive beforehand.

Indiana Right to Life is hailing today as the date on which sweeping pro-life policies passed by the Indiana legislature in HEA 1210 and HEA 1474 will go into full effect, marking what the pro-life group calls the most significant improvements to Indiana’s abortion law in nearly four decades.

“These are monumental advances in state policy that place Indiana on the leading edge of national efforts to curb abortion,” states Indiana Right to Life president Mike Fischer.

Although a federal judge has enjoined two provisions of HEA 1210 , including the removal of all state-directed funds from businesses that do abortions and a requirement that women be informed about an unborn child’s ability to feel pain, other aspects of the laws remain in force.

Highlights of the new Indiana policies that go into effect today include:

  • Women must be informed that human physical life begins at fertilization.
  • Indiana will opt-out of abortion coverage in any state health exchange required under the new federal health law passed by Congress in 2010.
  • Pain-capable children beginning at 20-weeks gestational age will enjoy enhanced protections.
  • All abortions on girls under the age of 14 must be reported to child protective services within three days of the abortion in order to facilitate prompt investigation into child sexual abuse.
  • Women must be informed that abortion may increase the risk of infertility, infection, or hemorrhaging.
  • Doctors who do abortions in Indiana must have local hospital admitting privileges, provide medical licensing numbers, and provide emergency contact information to women having abortions.
  • Women considering abortion must be informed about Indiana’s safe haven law that allows for mothers who decide to carry their children to term but are unable to care for their children to leave them with safe haven providers such as local police without criminal repercussions.

Fichter notes that Indiana Right to Life will be monitoring abortion businesses to ensure compliance and will work with government agencies and local prosecutors to report any suspected non-compliance.

The House passed HB 1210 by a 72-23 margin in March and the Senate voted 35-13 for the full bill.

Sen. Michael Young, a Republican who co-sponsored the bill, said it was important that “taxpayers will no longer fund an organization that provides abortion as part of their services that they give to the public.” Sen. Patricia Miller, another Republican who sponsored the bill, added, it “helps women with objective scientific information.”