Indiana Senate Committee Advances Bill to Strengthen Parental Rights When a Minor Seeks an Abortion

February 22, 2017

Senate Bill 404 Passed the Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee, 6-4

INDIANAPOLIS – Today the Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee heard testimony on and passed Senate Bill (SB) 404 by a vote of 6-4. SB 404 strengthens current Indiana law regarding parental rights when a minor daughter seeks an abortion. Authored by Sen. Erin Houchin (District 47), 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 gives parents notice if their daughter seeks a judicial bypass hearing in order to get an abortion without their 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.

“Senate Bill 404 strengthens parental consent provisions already on the books if their minor daughter seeks an abortion,” said Sue Swayze Liebel, Vice President of Public Affairs for Indiana Right to Life. “Parents and legal guardians have a right to be involved in major decisions affecting their child’s health and future. Today committee members also heard emotional testimony about a lack of recourse for parents if they discover another adult helped their minor daughter obtain an abortion. SB 404 does not prohibit trusted adults from sharing information about abortion, parenting or adoption. Rather, it ensures parents are involved in the life-changing decision when their minor daughter seeks an abortion.”

Voting for SB 404 were Senators Rodric Bray (District 37), Michael Young (District 35), Michael Delph (District 29), Aaron Freeman (District 32), Eric Koch (District 44) and Joseph Zakas (District 11). Voting against SB 404 were Senators Susan Glick (District 13), Lonnie Randolph (District 2), Timothy Lanane (District 25) and Greg Taylor (Distict 33).

SB 404 is now eligible for second reading in the Indiana Senate.

Sen. Houchin testifying on SB 404

Sen. Houchin testifying on SB 404

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.

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