Legislation requiring health care providers to report abortion complications to the Indiana State Department of Health cleared a final hurdle Wednesday and now goes to the governor for his signature.
Senate Bill 340, authored by Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, passed out of the Senate 37-9. The bill adds a series of requirements for abortion clinics to comply with, including having any woman who is prescribed an abortion-inducing drug sign a form that says she has been informed of the manufacturer’s instructions.
Sen. Jean Breaux, D-Indianapolis, said she opposes the bill because it shames and stigmatizes women about their reproductive decisions.
“I’m really quite frankly tired of having to spend time on bills which violate a woman’s right to make decisions and for that of her family,” Beaux said. “This bill is supposed to be about public safety, but it’s basically an onerous and egregious violation of a woman’s privacy.”
This bill had moved back into the Senate for concurrence after Rep. Matt Lehman, R-Berne, added an amendment that allows fire stations to use baby boxes—devices for people to anonymously and safely drop off newborns.
The language was originally Senate Bill 123, but Holdman said because of time restraints, it was not going to be heard in the Judiciary Committee. That prompted Lehman to combine the two bills.
The Legislative Services Agency, in its fiscal notes on SB 340, reported that if the abortion measure is challenged as unconstitutional, the state could end up paying the legal fees of the plaintiff. The Indiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union challenged anti-abortion laws passed in 2013 and 2015 and won, collecting more than $300,000 in legal fees.
If signed by Gov. Eric Holcomb, SB 340 would go into effect July 1, 2018.
Quinn Fitzgerald is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.