Attorney General Todd Rokita and State Senator Andy Zay announce advisory opinion clarifying Terminated Pregnancy Reports are public records


Attorney General Todd Rokita has issued an official advisory opinion clarifying that Terminated Pregnancy Reports (TPRs) are public records open to inspection — though the Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) can and should redact any information that could reasonably identify a pregnant woman.  

Indiana State Senator Andy Zay requested the advisory opinion from the Attorney General’s Office after IDOH refused to disclose the public records necessary to improve maternal life and ensure providers are complying with Indiana’s pro-life laws.

“My colleagues and I in the General Assembly passed the first in the nation pro-life law after Roe v. Wade was overturned,” Senator Zay said. “Now, the actions of unelected bureaucrats have made that law unenforceable.”

Lack of public access to these reports impedes the ability of the Attorney General to perform its statutory duties of investigating complaints against medical providers — thereby undermining the public interest.  

“As the entity charged with overseeing medical licensing complaints, our office has long relied on these reports to investigate medical provider complaints,” Attorney General Rokita said. “If IDOH refuses to disclose them, it is impossible to ensure that providers are complying with the law.” 

The decision by IDOH to seek, and rely on, a faulty opinion from the Public Access Counselor declaring TPRs confidential medical records appears to represent an abrupt change in policy and practice by the state agency. 

Attorney General Rokita expressed appreciation to Sen. Zay for his persistence in making sure the record was set straight. 

“As someone who has participated in legislative deliberations about these reports,” Sen. Zay said, “I can confirm that it was never the Indiana General Assembly’s intent to make them secret and render them useless.” 

Information contained in the reports can provide such insights as the age of the fetus at the time of abortion, whether the pregnant woman sought the abortion as a result of abuse or trafficking, and the age of the pregnant woman (which may help indicate possible child sexual abuse). Broader quarterly reports with aggregated data lack such details. 

The advisory opinion makes clear that, in Indiana, maintaining open and transparent government is a cornerstone of public policy. 

“The TPRs can be redacted,” the advisory opinion states, “to balance the privacy concern regarding the pregnant woman who received an abortion, the public’s right to inspection of public records, and the need of enforcement agencies to review these documents to monitor compliance with laws or investigate complaints and allegations that such laws were violated.”