Holcomb signs stricter abortion reporting law
By Shelby Mullis
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana health care providers will face stricter abortion regulations under legislation signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb Sunday.
Senate Enrolled Act 340 requires health care providers to annually report 26 abortion complications to the Indiana State Department of Health. The complications include infection, blood clots, cardiac arrest and physical injury association with treatment performed at the abortion facility.
The legislation also adds a number of new requirements for abortion clinics to comply with, including having women who have been prescribed an abortion-inducing drug sign a form that says they have been informed of the manufacturer’s instructions.
The bill, authored by Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, passed out of the Senate 37-9 March 7 before it was one of 10 bills signed by Holcomb Sunday.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky said in a statement that the organization is concerned about Hoosiers’ access to “safe and legal abortion care” in the state.
“SEA 340 adds unnecessary restrictions to Indiana’s licensing requirements for abortion providers and is the perfect example of government intrusion into the sacred relationship between doctors and their patients,” said Christie Gillespie, president, and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, in a statement. “This law is not about enhancing patient safety, and does absolutely nothing to reduce unintended pregnancies.”
If the abortion measure is challenged, the Legislative Services Agency, in its fiscal notes on the legislation, reported that the state could end up paying the legal fees of the plaintiff.
The Indiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union challenged and won similar types of cases in 2013 and 2015. The state has paid the chapter more than $290,000 in legal fees.
SEA 340 also includes a provision that allows fire stations to use baby boxes, which are devices for people to anonymously and safely drop off newborn babies. The legislation will go into effect July 1.
Also on Sunday, the governor signed Senate Enrolled Act 203 into law. The legislation allows prosecutors to file more serious charges against a person who kills a fetus at any stage of development while committing another crime. Actual charges can range from murder to involuntary manslaughter and can add six months to 20 years to a prison sentence.
FOOTNOTE: Shelby Mullis is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.