On Tuesday afternoon, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels did as promised and signed HEA 1210 into law. With that, Indiana enjoys the ignominy of becoming the first state to ban federal funds for family planning services from Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood, as reasoning people understand, is not primarily about abortion: its services include birth control, cancer screenings, HIV testing, and more.
HEA 1210 “Cancels state funding for any current contracts with or grants to any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed,” and
“sets requirements for performing an abortion after the first trimester but before the earlier of viability of the fetus or 20 weeks of postfertilization age of the fetus (current law requirements are based on viability of the fetus).”
The new law:
- Requires that a physician determine the postfertilization age of a fetus before performing an abortion, and allows for the discipline of a physician who fails to do this in certain circumstances.
- Adds information that a pregnant woman must be informed of orally and in writing (current law requires that the information be given only orally) before an abortion may be performed concerning the physician, risks involved, information concerning the fetus, available assistance, and existing law.
- Requires a pregnant woman seeking an abortion to view fetal ultrasound imaging unless the pregnant woman states in writing that the pregnant woman does not want to view the fetal ultrasound imaging.
- Requires a physician who performs an abortion to: (1) have admitting privileges at a hospital in the county or in a contiguous county to the county where the abortion is performed; or (2) enter into an agreement with a physician who has admitting privileges in the county or contiguous county; and notify the patient of the hospital location where the patient can receive follow-up care by the physician.
- Requires the state department of health to post Internet website links on the state department’s web site to materials setting forth certain information concerning a fetus and abortion.
- Prohibits qualified health plans under the federal health care reform law from providing coverage for abortions except for in certain circumstances.
GOP rhetoric surrounding HEA 1210 has been typically ugly. When Rep. Gail Riecken (D – Evansville) argued for an amendment to make exceptions for victims of rape and incest, the bill’s author, Rep. Eric Turner (R – Marion) asked his colleagues to vote against it because a woman could “simply say I’ve been raped” in order to get her abortion covered. Claiming the rape provision would be a “giant loophole” Turner said,
“I want to be careful. I don’t want to disparage in any way someone who has gone through the experience of a rape or incest – but someone who is desirous of an abortion could simply say that they’ve been raped or there’s incest.” Riecken’s amendment was voted down, 54-42.
Think Progress reported that,
Outraged by Turner’s allegation, state Rep. Linda Lawson (D) — who spent six years as a sex crimes investigator for the Indiana police — delivered an emotional rebuke. Describing her experience with both elderly and young children who had been raped, she forcefully informed Turner that “they don’t make it up.” “Women don’t make this up! My Goodness!” she exclaimed. “This is the state of Indiana!”
The bill is also dishonest: It requires doctors to provide women with misleading and medically-inaccurate information prior to an abortion (“misinformed consent”). By law, doctors are now required to tell women seeking an abortion that it will increase their risk of breast cancer even though it is not true.
According to the American Cancer Society,
The issue of abortion generates passionate viewpoints in many people. Breast cancer is the most common cancer, and is the second leading cancer killer in women. Still, the public is not well-served by false alarms. At this time, the scientific evidence does not support the notion that abortion of any kind raises the risk of breast cancer.
Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, on behalf of Planned Parenthood of Indiana (PPIN), has filed for a temporary restraining order and injunction to keep it from being enforced.
“By signing this bill, the governor has put the health care of thousands of Hoosiers who rely on federal funding at risk,” said PPIN President and CEO Betty Cockrum. “And by signing when he did, he put patients with appointments tomorrow at PPIN health centers in danger of not getting their birth control or physical exams. However, we’re not going to let that happen. We will see all patients who rely on federal funding that have appointments until we receive a ruling in this case, and will cover those costs out of our Women’s Health Fund.”
The ACLU of Indiana says it “expects the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis to rule on the temporary restraining order beginning at noon tomorrow, May 11, 2011.”