Proposal toughens rules on Indiana abortion providers

Indiana Statehouse

A bill that creates tougher rules on abortion providers is passing through the Statehouse.

Posted: Jan 25, 2018 9:49 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A doctor who treats a woman for complications arising from an abortion would have to report detailed information about the patient to the state, under a bill approved by an Indiana Senate committee on Wednesday.

Supporters of the measure, authored by Republican Sen. Travis Holdman of Markle, say it is intended to protect women’s health and ensure abortions are provided safely.

It would require doctors, hospitals and abortion clinics to report to the State Department of Health each case in which a patient suffers from any of a wide range of medical complications outlined in the bill.

“If the state of Indiana is really interested in the health of women,” said Sen. Liz Brown, R-Fort Wayne. “... Then the best way we can do this is find out information.”

Opponents argue that the data — which would include where the procedure was performed — could be used to further scrutinize the state’s six remaining abortion clinics. They say it’s invasive and would only erect more hurdles for women in a state that already tightly restricts abortion.

“This is nothing but Big Brother state government sticking their nose into an area of a person’s life that they have no business knowing about,” said Democratic Sen. Tim Lanane, of Anderson.

Lanane was the lone person to oppose the bill, which was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 6-1 vote.

The number of abortions performed in Indiana has declined significantly over the past decade, which anti-abortion advocates attribute to strict laws approved amid a Republican surge to power.

But in more recent years, newer and even stricter abortion laws were found unconstitutional by the courts. That has resulted in the state paying back more than $290,000 in legal fees to the American Civil Liberties Union, which challenged the laws, state records show.

This year’s bill may not be as prohibitive. But a state analysis indicates that if passed, it could result in more taxpayer-funded court costs.

Under the bill, there is a lengthy list of abortion complications that must be reported. They include serious medical conditions like renal failure, cardiac arrest, hemorrhaging, blood clots and infection. But the measure also lumps in depression, anxiety and sleep disorders.

Additional personal information that would be gathered includes a woman’s age, race, how many children they have, if any of their children have died, how many abortions they have had and when their last period was.

The state would summarize the data in a report, though identifying information would not be included.

Supporters said some provisions aimed specifically at abortion medications are needed due the increasing popularity of drugs like RU-486. The data could help health officials if women start obtaining such drugs over the Internet from sketchy sources, they said.

The anti-abortion group Indiana Right to Life said the bill is its top priority. However, some activists have agitated for legislation sponsored by Republican Rep. Curt Nisly, of Goshen, that would try to ban abortion by defining human life as beginning at conception. The constitutionally questionable measure won’t advance this session because the House Public Policy Committee didn’t take it up Wednesday during its final meeting before next week’s deadline for action.

It is the second year Nisly’s measure has failed in the GOP-dominated House.

“The ultimate goal of saving lives is laudable and makes sense,” committee Chairman Ben Smaltz of Auburn said. “The underlying strategy to get there is on very loose legal footing and the author himself couldn’t provide a way to navigate through that.”

___

Associated Press writer Tom Davies contributed to this report.

West Lafayette
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 76°
Kokomo
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 74°
Rensselaer
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 72°
Fowler
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 72°
Williamsport
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 73°
Crawfordsville
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 74°
Frankfort
Overcast
76° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 78°
Delphi
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 73°
Monticello
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 73°
Logansport
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 73°
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 52037

Reported Deaths: 2762
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion12111693
Lake5677249
Elkhart366260
Allen2971134
St. Joseph221169
Hamilton1735101
Cass16489
Hendricks1470100
Johnson1351118
Porter84938
Vanderburgh8016
Tippecanoe7859
Clark71944
Madison68164
LaPorte62928
Howard61058
Bartholomew60545
Kosciusko5844
Marshall57011
Noble52428
Boone49244
LaGrange48710
Delaware48152
Jackson4793
Hancock47436
Shelby46025
Floyd41844
Monroe36128
Morgan34431
Grant32226
Dubois3196
Henry30318
Montgomery29720
Clinton2903
White27810
Dearborn27123
Warrick26829
Vigo2618
Decatur25732
Lawrence25325
Harrison21822
Greene19932
Miami1942
Jennings17912
Putnam1748
DeKalb1694
Scott1659
Wayne1596
Daviess15117
Perry15110
Steuben1402
Orange13823
Jasper1362
Ripley1357
Franklin1288
Gibson1282
Wabash1193
Carroll1142
Starke1093
Fayette1087
Whitley1086
Newton10110
Huntington942
Jefferson872
Wells831
Randolph804
Fulton761
Jay720
Knox710
Washington681
Pulaski661
Clay645
Posey640
Rush623
Spencer591
Owen531
Benton510
Sullivan511
Adams491
Brown441
Blackford402
Fountain362
Crawford330
Tipton331
Switzerland320
Parke280
Martin260
Ohio230
Vermillion200
Warren151
Union140
Pike120
Unassigned0193

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events