Today the Indiana Senate passed Senate Bill (SB) 404 by a vote of 36-13. Authored by Sen. Erin Houchin (District 47), SB 404 strengthens current Indiana law regarding parental rights when a minor seeks an abortion. This bill will require abortion providers to obtain proof of consent from a parent or legal guardian when a minor daughter gets an abortion. This bill gives parents and legal guardians a civil recourse if someone fraudulently poses as a parent in order for a minor girl to get an abortion. It also involves parents if a minor appears before a judge in order to get an abortion without parental consent.
SB 404 also changes the requirement to report underage abortions to the Indiana State Department of Health and Indiana Department of Child Services from the current law of “less than 14 years of age” to minor girls “less than 16 years of age.” Finally, it provides women information and help if they are being coerced into an abortion or sexually trafficked.
“The Indiana Senate wisely voted to advance SB 404 and strengthen parental rights in Indiana,” said Sue Swayze Liebel, Indiana Right to Life Vice President of Public Affairs. “The decision by a minor girl to pursue an abortion will significantly impact her life and her health. Parents of a minor have a right to be involved in that decision and this bill will give them legal recourse should someone impersonate them.
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“We’re also pleased that SB 404 aligns underage abortion reporting requirements with Indiana’s age of consent. If abortion providers are concerned about the health of their youngest customers, then they should have no issues in alerting the Indiana State Department of Health and Indiana Department of Child Services in a timely fashion when a girl under 16 seeks an abortion. We also believe women being coerced into an abortion or sexually trafficked will be aided by this bill.”
Four Republicans joined Democrats in voting against the bill. They were Sens. Vaneta Becker (District 50), Mike Bohacek (District 8), Phil Boots (District 23) and Susan Glick (District 13).