Indiana Strikes a Blow to the Heart of Abortion Access

Image: AP

Indiana, the state that gifted America its current Mother Boy, now has two new anti-abortion laws on its books: Come July, the state will ban the very mundane and safe method of abortion that’s called dilation and evacuation, and will allow any nurses, pharmacist, or physician assistant to refuse to participate in offering abortion care.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed these anti-abortion bills—the House Enrolled Act 1211 and Senate Enrolled Act 201—into law on Wednesday, and both are set to take effect on July 1. The first bill prohibits dilation and evacuation abortion in all instances except when a “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.”

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According to the the Times of Northwest Indiana, “anti-abortion lawmakers claim the procedure is ‘barbaric’ because it requires a doctor to use forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments to remove a fetus from a woman’s uterus.” (What do these men think of vasectomies, I wonder?)

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana has already filed a lawsuit challenging the law, saying that it puts a “substantial and unwarranted burden on women’s ability to obtain second-trimester, pre-viability, abortions.”

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The second law expands the Indiana Health Code to allow pharmacists and physician assistants to opt out of providing abortion care, including prescribing or administering abortion drugs. (Indiana’s health code already allows doctors, hospital employees, and health clinic staffers to refuse to offer abortion care).

The laws are Indiana’s latest attempt to strip people in the state of their basic right to an abortion, which is already severely limited: In Indiana, people seeking abortions must first attend an abortion counseling appointment and sign informed consent paperwork at least 18 hours before the procedure. They also must obtain an abortion at a hospital or licensed surgical center beyond three months of pregnancy. After fetal viability, abortions are only allowed in instances where the pregnant person’s health is in danger. And yet, despite these obstacles, Republican lawmakers keep pushing for more.

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Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is a senior reporter at Jezebel.

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