Indiana House lawmakers passed pro-life legislation Thursday to ensure women are fully informed about their unborn babies before going through with an abortion.
State Senate Bill 299, sponsored by state Rep. Christy Stutzman, R-Middlebury, passed in a 78-13 vote, and returns to the state Senate for a final vote on amendments.
The bill requires abortion facilities to inform women who plan to take abortion drugs that their baby’s body will be expelled and they have the right to return their baby’s body to the abortion facility for burial or cremation. It also holds abortion facilities accountable for the proper disposition of aborted babies by increasing documentation and reporting requirements.
Indiana Right to Life praised the legislation as a critical step in underscoring the humanity of each aborted baby while detailing what abortion facilities must tell women about their baby’s final disposition.
“We will continue working for a day when no child is aborted in Indiana. Until that day comes, this bill will make sure these children are never again treated like common medical waste in our state,” Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter.
The need for such legislation became even more apparent last fall after investigators discovered the bodies of 2,411 aborted babies stored in an Indiana abortionist’s garage with complete disregard for their humanity. The abortionist, Ulrich Klopfer, died in September, and his family found the baby’s remains soon afterward. No one knows why he kept them.
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Indiana law does require abortion facilities to bury or cremate the remains of aborted babies, but the law only took effect in 2019 after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld it.
The legislation that passed this week will strengthen current state laws by ensuring women are fully informed before going through with the abortion and aborted babies’ bodies are properly handled.
“Indiana’s current humane final disposition law, as upheld by the Supreme Court, contains grey areas we believe abortion clinics use to keep women in the dark, especially when it comes to drug-induced abortions,” Fichter said. “This bill addresses these areas and makes sure women get all the facts, including the reality that a drug-induced abortion will result in an aborted baby.”
The legislation require abortion facilities to keep a log for each aborted baby, among other documents.
Indiana Right to Life explains more:
This log must include the date of the abortion, whether the abortion was surgical or induced by an abortion inducing drug, and whether a funeral director will be retrieving the aborted baby. In the event of a chemically induced abortion, the log must identify whether the pregnant woman will cremate or inter the aborted baby, or whether she will return the aborted baby to the abortion facility for cremation or interment.
The bill also requires that any contracts between abortion clinics and crematoriums or funeral homes must be made available for review by the state, and that copies of any burial transit permits must be kept in a permanent file. In addition, any entity receiving aborted babies for interment or cremation must confirm that the total number of aborted babies match the information contained in the burial transit and accompanying log. This section in particular will help prevent any Klopfer-like situations from ever happening again in Indiana.
In September, authorities found 2,246 medically preserved remains of aborted babies stored in boxes in the former Indiana abortionist’s garage in Illinois. A few weeks later, they found 165 more babies’ remains in a vehicle stored on one of his properties. Klopfer’s family reported finding the remains shortly after he died Sept. 3. Indiana and Illinois authorities have been working together to investigate the gruesome discovery.
Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill’s office announced earlier this year that poor record-keeping and the disintegration of the babies’ bodies made it impossible for each baby to be identified.
Hill’s office and pro-life advocates organized a burial for the babies earlier this month.
Last year, U.S. Sen. Mike Braun introduced the Dignity for Aborted Children Act to extend the cremation/burial requirement to all 50 states.