NewsPublic Affairs / January 27, 2016

Anti-Abortion Bill Passes Senate Committee

Anti-Abortion Bill Passes Senate CommitteeThe bill is virtually identical to one that didn't pass last year. It bans abortions less than 20 weeks into term, but only if the patient's motivation is based on race, gender, disability, or the possibility of disability.Indiana Senate, abortion2016-01-27T00:00:00-05:00
Anti-Abortion Bill Passes Senate Committee

A bill preventing mothers from getting an abortion under certain conditions before 20 weeks passed Senate committee Wednesday.

Doug Jaggers

INDIANAPOLIS -- A bill preventing mothers from getting an abortion under certain conditions before 20 weeks passed Senate committee Wednesday. 

The bill is virtually identical to one that didn't pass last year. It bans abortions less than 20 weeks into term, but only if the patient's motivation is based on race, gender, disability, or the possibility of disability.

Republican Sen. Liz Brown co-authored the bill. She says it also ensures women receive information about options outside of abortion when met with news that their child has a life-threatening disability -- something she claims does not happen often enough.

“What we have found is besides doctors pressuring women to have the abortion, they are not giving them the care and being compassionate in terms of what these women are facing," Brown said.

Some who testified say the bill works to fix a system which devalues the lives of disabled children, such as those with Down Syndrome. Brown says 90 percent of the time, mothers hear their child will have Down Syndrome they choose to get an abortion.

Democratic Sen. Mark Stoops says the bill breaks federal law, which allows for abortions before 20 weeks with no questions asked.

And Fort Wayne Physician Kathryn Carboneau says the process of identifying motivations behind an abortion would be impractical and create privacy issues.

"That's a pretty intrusive process for the state to get stepping into, when they don't know the patient and their circumstances," Carboneau said.

The bill advanced through Senate committee with a vote of seven to four.

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