2005 Indiana legislation
The 2005 session of the Indiana General Assembly saw much legislative activity around reproductive rights. The first set of bills below passed the legislature; the second died at the end of the 2005 session, but are likely to be reintroduced in 2006.
If you'd like more information, email us. The legislature will reconvene in January, and if you'd like to have an impact on new bills as they move through the legislative process, please join our Action Network to receive timely email alerts.
Other sessions: 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
Senate Bill 76—mean-spirited medicine
SB 76 requires a health care provider to offer a pregnant woman the opportunity to view an ultrasound image or hear the heart tones of the fetus before performing an abortion. This bill does nothing to improve the quality of care received by patients. Indiana's informed consent law already insured that patients receive full information on the abortion procedure, possible risks, and alternatives available. All Indiana abortion providers already performed an ultrasound before any abortion, to confirm the gestation of the fetus; patients have always been welcome to view the ultrasound at that time. However, a fetoscope cannot detect a heartbeat until 16—20 weeks gestation, and even newer Doppler technology cannot measure heart tones until 8-10 weeks. 58% of abortions are performed by 8 weeks' gestation; with advances in surgical technique and the availability of abortion by medication, the percentage of early abortions will only increase.
SB 76 was signed by the governor 4/19/05 and became law 7/1/05. Supporters of SB 76 may say that their aim is to give women seeking abortions more information; Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana knows that in reality, this is a law with no medical value, and that the best information women can receive comes from consultation with their doctor, not their legislator.
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Senate Bill 568—government intrusion in abortion access
SB 568 requires the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) to establish special procedures for the regulation, inspection, and licensure of birthing centers and some abortion facilities. This bill was originally sought by birthing centers, who wanted a licensure process, but anti-choice legislators used it as an opportunity to interfere with access to safe, legal abortion.
New regulations like those proposed not only force the state to spend money on implementation and enforcement, they increase the cost of abortion for both providers and patients, without improving patient care or safety. Indiana abortion providers already meet CLIA, OSHA, IOSHA, and ISDH standards, and ISDH reports that the complication rate for first trimester abortions is less than 0.5%. SB 568 has a narrow focus and would only regulate those facilities where abortions are provided regularly: it will likely increase costs for clinic patients but leave women who can afford an abortion in a private office rather than a clinic unaffected.
SB 568's attempt to arbitrarily force abortion facilities into standards far beyond those required for patient care and safety is a blatantly anti-choice political maneuver. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana adamantly opposes all efforts to restrict access to health care by income level or bypass our constitutional right to medical privacy. SB568 charges ISDH to write these regulations, for birthing centers by 7/1/05 (existing centers have until 11/30/05 to comply), and for abortion facilities by 12/31/05 (existing facilities have until 7/1/06 to comply). There will be a public comment period before regulations are adopted, and Planned Parenthood Advocates will be watching, ready to mobilize supporters if necessary to protect access to safe, legal abortion. To help, email us or donate.
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Senate Bill 572—healthy Hoosier families
This important bill requires the Indiana Medicaid offices to apply to the federal government for the post-pregnancy extension of Medicaid family planning services to women covered only during pregnancy. Currently, coverage of the mother ends shortly after the birth of the baby. Extending family planning services for two years after the birth of a child to women who are barely above the poverty level will dramatically decrease the number of unintended pregnancies among families already struggling to care for a baby. This in turn will decrease the incidence of problems associated with inadequate birth spacing, such as premature births, low birth weights, and infant mortality. Medicaid costs for deliveries and subsequent costs of coverage for children would decline just as they have in 18 other states which have Medicaid Waivers similar to the one proposed here in Indiana.
Despite our best efforts to defeat the medically inaccurate language, an anti-choice amendment to this bill did pass. It's possible that because of this amendment, SB 572 will not cover IUDs or Emergency Contraception. Even so, SB 572 will improve the health and well being of Indiana mothers, babies, and families while saving the state money, and as such, the governor signed it on 4/13/05. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana has been proud to support this courageous effort to improve the lives of women and children living at or near the poverty level, and we urge the Indiana office of Medicaid policy and planning to apply for the waiver before 1/1/06, in compliance with the law.
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Senate Joint Resolution 7—discrimination in our constitution?
This proposed amendment to the state constitution would write discrimination into the founding document of Indiana. SJR 7 would not only reserve the term "marriage" for heterosexual couples, but all related status and legal incidents thereof. In other words, gay and lesbian couples would be denied insurance, access to one another's hospital room, tax status, inheritance of property, and a host of other rights that married couples take for granted.
Regardless of whether one believes that a homosexual couple should be called married, how can one deny the constitutional rights of equal protection under the law to any segment of our population? Planned Parenthood believes that all people, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, live under the same constitution, which protects rights of privacy, liberty, due process and equal protection. It is these same rights that guarantee women the right to vote, to choose when or whether to have children, and that are at the core of all civil rights protections for women and minorities alike. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana strongly opposes SJR 7 and all efforts to write discrimination into the state constitution, a document intended to protect the rights of all its citizens, not alienate them. To ignore SJR 7 would begin to unravel the rights of Hoosiers everywhere! SJR 7 must be passed by both houses of the General Assembly in a session after the 2006 election,
and then be passed by all Indiana citizens in a general election ballot in 2008 before it can become part of the Indiana state constitution.
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Senate Bill 48—refusal to dispense birth control
This bill would change Indiana law such that no person shall be required, as a condition of training, employment, pay, promotion, or privileges, to dispense either (A) a medical device or drug that may result in, or that is intended to result in, an abortion; or (B) artificial birth control. So the nurse who refused to give emergency contraception to a rape victim, the pharmacist who refused to fill your prescription for birth control pills, and the gas station attendant who refused to sell you condoms would all be protected by law.
SB 48 could severely curtail access to contraception, especially in rural areas which may only have a single pharmacist per town or even county. Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana strongly opposes legislation that so limits a woman's right to make her own contraceptive choices and allows a health care provider to keep his/her job while at the same time refusing to do it.
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Senate Bill 166—misuse of education funds
This bill would require each Indiana school corporation to include instruction regarding human fetal development in its high school health education curriculum, including descriptions and photographs of each stage of fetal development and health consequences of early termination of pregnancy. In a state that does not require school corporations to teach sex education, this would be a needless misuse of both state and local education resources, and could potentially result in a curriculum designed solely as anti-choice propaganda.
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana would much rather see health education funding being spent to develop and implement comprehensive sex education programs, and leave fetal development to biology class.
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House Bill 1101—bad for babies, part 1
HB 1101 would make cocaine use while pregnant a Class D felony, while ignoring the use of other drugs, legal or illegal. Punitive actions taken against drug users solely on the basis of their pregnancy deter women from seeking prenatal care and medical care during delivery, thereby increasing the health risks for women and their children. Women who use drugs while pregnant need treatment; to threaten jail time instead will turn them into fugitives from justice and medicine.
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana adamantly opposes HB 1101, which would lead Indiana away from improved natal and maternal health. Nineteen U.S. states have either created or funded drug treatment programs specifically targeted to treat pregnant women; wouldn't it be better to add Indiana to that list?
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House Bill 1607—unnecessary and unconstitutional
House Bill 1607 is a dual assault on a woman's right to choose. First, HB 1607 would require the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) to establish special procedures for some abortion facilities in a manner similar to SB 568. While the author of the bill claims that it was written to protect women's health, the bill would only regulate those providers who perform 4 or more abortions in a month, leaving women who can afford an abortion in a private office rather than a clinic unaffected. An amendment to correct this oversight was voted down.
But this is merely the beginning. HB 1607 would also assume, without any medical evaluation, that every fetus of at least 24 weeks' gestation has attained viability, despite the fact that every fetus develops at an individual rate, and the fact that it's impossible to determine viability in such a generalized fashion. Most of the scientific and medical communities approximate viability somewhere between 24-28 weeks. Four times the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that fetal viability must be determined by a doctor on a case-by-case basis (Planned Parenthood of Central Missouri v. Danforth, 1976; Colautti v. Franklin, 1979, Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 1989; Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 1992).
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana opposes this blatantly political attempt to interfere with a woman's privacy and with sound medical practice and judgment, which was summed up best by one pro-choice legislator, who called the bill what it is: vicious, mean, racist, classist, and sexist. HB 1607 died, but abortion regulations were passed as part of SB 568.
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House Bill 1755—bad for babies, part 2
HB 1755 would make drug use while pregnant a Class D felony. Punitive actions taken against drug users solely on the basis of their pregnancy, including the threat of incarceration, investigation, and testing without consent, deter women from seeking prenatal care and medical care during delivery, thereby increasing the health risks for women and their children. The American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, and the American Public Health Association all oppose punishing women for drug use during pregnancy.
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana adamantly opposes HB 1755, which would lead Indiana away from improved natal and maternal health. Nineteen U.S. states have either created or funded drug treatment programs specifically targeted to treat pregnant women; wouldn't it be better to add Indiana to that list? Voluntary, confidential programs to treat pregnant women for both drug and alcohol abuse are much more effective than jail to ensure a healthy pregnancy and birth. Thanks to the testimony of health care professionals who have successfully treated pregnant drug users across Indiana, delivering drug-free babies to newly drug-free moms, the authors of this bill plan to introduce new legislation in 2006 to further study the problem of drug, alcohol, and tobacco use during pregnancy and how best to expand the success of existing treatment programs to ensure drug-free pregnancies and births.
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