Two bills supported by Indiana Right to Life pass committee
February 20, 2013
Today, the Indiana Senate Health and Provider Services Committee heard and passed two bills supported by Indiana Right to Life. The first, Senate Bill 489, sponsored by Sen. Michael Young of Marion County (District 35), strengthens current law regarding informed consent materials and ultrasound and fetal heart tone availability to abortion seekers. The second, Senate Bill 371, sponsored by Sen. Travis Holdman (District 19) of Wells County, requires chemical abortion facilities to be licensed and inspected like surgical abortion providers so that facilities in Indiana meet a basic standard.
“Both these bills give women seeking abortions in Indiana more assurance that they will find a safe facility and that they will understand the procedure,” said Sue Swayze, Legislative Director for Indiana Right to Life. “SB 489 strengthens current law regarding informed consent. Indiana law already requires that abortionists provide medically-accurate information to the patient, but currently the state is not verifying women are receiving this information and what type of information is distributed. This bill ensures that women receive standard information, without a fiscal requirement to the state.
“Additionally, SB 489 strengthens current law regarding the availability of an ultrasound and fetal heartbeat before the procedure. Women will be able to decline both of these options. We believe women should have as much accurate information as possible before making a major abortion decision.”
Swayze continued, “SB 371 raises the standards for abortion facilities in Indiana. All facilities, including chemical abortion facilities, will have to meet current law regarding abortion facilities. Chemical abortions, often called RU-486 abortions, carry serious risks; through licensing, women can count on all facilities meeting basic medical standards.”
Testifying in support of SB 489 and SB 371 included former Ind. Sen. Dick Thompson; Sue Swayze, Legislative Director for Indiana Right to Life; retired Indianapolis OBGYN, Dr. Hans Geisler; a letter from a woman named “Leslie” who had a chemical abortion and now regrets it; and Marc Tuttle of Indianapolis Right to Life. The Indiana Catholic Conference, Indiana Family Institute, Advance America, and the American Family Association of Indiana also sent representatives to speak in support of the two bills.
SB 489 passed as amended 8-4 and SB 371 passed as amended 7-5.
Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.