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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Ind. Gov't. - "Coalition fighting abortion bills"

Niki Kelly reports in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

As legislators push to add more regulations to abortions – and even a total ban – a new alliance supporting reproductive rights has sprouted.

The Indiana Reproductive Justice Coalition is going to fight abortion limitations this session and started Wednesday by delivering 3,000 petitions to Gov. Eric Holcomb’s office against House Bill 1134.

The legislation, sponsored by Goshen Republican Rep. Curt Nisly, would ban abortion.

“We hoped to move beyond bills trying to strip Hoosiers of their constitutional rights,” said Harmony Glenn of Indy Feminists. “We find this unacceptable.”

It is the latest attempt by Republicans, who have a supermajority in the Indiana House and Senate, to try to reduce or eliminate the number of abortions in the state.

Several recent Indiana bills have been struck down by federal judges, including one last year that would have prohibited abortions sought because of a fetus’ genetic abnormalities – such as a diagnoses of Down syndrome.

Nisly’s bill is meant as a test case to see if a new U.S. Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade – the 1973 decision legalizing abortion.

“It’s time to bring the Roe v. Wade era to its logical conclusion,” Nisly said. “My goal is to deregulate abortion right out of existence in Indiana.”

But that’s not the only bill on the table.

Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, has another one that has a much better chance of becoming law because it builds on current restrictions.

Senate Bill 118
would push back the waiting period to 48 hours between an initial visit and when a person could have an abortion. And at least 48 hours beforehand, women would be forced to view an ultrasound of the fetus and listen to the fetal heartbeat.

Current law allows women to opt out and the waiting period for informed consent is 18 hours.

Kruse said his bill isn’t about patient safety – it’s about hoping more women will reconsider and decide not to abort.

“I’m pro-life so I think it would advance that cause,” he said. “When women actually hear the heartbeat or see the baby on an ultrasound, many decide to keep it. They see it as a human being.”

House Speaker Brian Bosma hasn’t killed Nisly’s bill but also hasn’t embraced it, saying, “I don’t think we should buy a lawsuit, personally.”

It has been sent to House Public Policy where new Chairman Rep. Ben Smaltz, R-Auburn, hasn’t decided if it will get a hearing.

Kruse’s bill has been sent to the Health and Provider Services Committee, where abortion bills have regularly passed.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 12, 2017 10:35 AM
Posted to Indiana Government