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Abortion bills keep moving alongPosted Friday, February 18, 2011, at 11:01 AM
Abortion is one of those "hot button" legislative issues where most people have a firm opinion one way or another.
Pro-life legislation is having some success in the current session of the Indiana General Assembly with three bills clearing committees in the past week.
That's good news for pro-life advocates like myself. I'm also pleased to see our local lawmakers step up and be key sponsors and co-sponsors of pro-life legislation.
There are 13 bills introduced this session in the House of the Senate that deal with abortion or pro-life issues. That's very encouraging.
Part of the reason is 19 new Republicans were elected to the House this year and six new Republicans to the Senate.
HB 1210 has more than 30 co-sponsors including local lawmakers State Reps. Peggy Welch (D-Bloomington), Bruce Borders (R-Jasonville), and Matt Ubelhor (R-Bloomfield).
The bill as written:
* Provides for consent to an abortion to be voluntary and informed, a physician must inform the pregnant woman that the fetus might feel pain. 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 county adjacent to the county where the abortion is performed; and (2) notify the patient of the hospital location where the patient can receive follow-up care by the physician.
* Prohibits qualified health plans under the federal health care reform law from providing coverage for abortion.
In essence, the bill will make abortions illegal after 20 weeks except to preserve the life of the woman. The Indiana State Department of Health also would be required to publish a pamphlet with some of that information.
The Public Policy Committee amended a provision of HB 1210 that requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals. The amendment says the providers also can have a contract with a doctor with hospital admitting privileges.
A separate bill -- Senate Bill 328 -- which contains similar provisions, also advanced to the Senate floor.
Another bill -- authored by Ubelhor -- HB 1205 cleared the House Public Policy committee and goes to the floor for a vote.
The bill prohibits state agencies from entering contracts with or making grants to any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed, such as Planned Parenthood of Indiana. It cancels state and federal Medicaid funding for any current contracts with or grants to any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed.
Rep. Ubelhor was also successful in getting his own authored HB 1204 out of committee.
The bill requires a physician who performs an abortion to: (1) have admitting privileges at a hospital in the county or in a county adjacent to the county where the abortion is performed; and (2) notify the patient of the hospital location where the patient can receive follow-up care by the physician.
These bills and others in the legislature would give Indiana some of the toughest restrictions in the country, according to statistics compiled by the Guttmacher Institute, a group that tracks state policies on reproductive issues. Ten states require that patients are told a fetus can feel pain.
To keep track of the various abortion-related bills go to the following website: (The bills are listed individually and by clicking on the link you can read the bill and check on its status.)
I applaud and pray for the efforts of our local lawmakers in helping to preserve the rights of our unborn -- the innocent victims of a horrible kind of child abuse.
Nick is assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487; by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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