Today the Indiana House Public Policy Committee, chaired by Rep. Ben Smaltz (District 52), amended and passed Senate Bill (SB) 404 by a vote of 8-4. Rep. Peggy Mayfield (District 60) presented the bill to the committee. Sue Swayze Liebel, Indiana Right to Life Vice President of Public Affairs, gave the following statement:
“There are many good measures in the newly-amended Senate Bill 404 and we’re pleased to continue advocating for it. Even with changes with the judicial bypass process, SB 404 still increases parental rights when a minor seeks an abortion. New requirements on abortion providers will help ensure the party giving a minor girl permission for an abortion is truly her parent or guardian. Parents and guardians will also have a civil recourse if they learn someone pretended to be them in order for their minor daughter to get an abortion. Parents have a valid interest in their minor daughter’s health and wellbeing and they deserve the additional provisions afforded to them in SB 404.
“SB 404 also provides protections for victims of sex trafficking and for those being coerced into an abortion. It protects young pregnant girls by changing reporting requirements to the Indiana State Department of Health and the Indiana Department of Child Services from ‘less than 14 years to age’ to ‘less than 16 years of age.’ Finally, it updates Indiana abortion facility licensing provisions to account for the growing number of chemical abortions in the state.
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“Indiana Right to Life urges the Indiana House to pass SB 404. This bill will protect minor girls, increase parental rights and help victims of sex trafficking.”