NewsPublic Affairs / March 10, 2016

Bill Bans Abortions Based On Fetus' Sex, Race And Disability

Bill Bans Abortions Based On Fetus' Sex, Race And Disability

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INDIANAPOLIS -- The House sent a bill Wednesday to the governor that bans abortions performed solely because of a fetus’ sex, race or disability.

The final abortion bill is a combination of two bills — one from the House and one from the Senate.

The original House bill banned the disposal of fetal remains as medical waste. The Senate bill banned abortions on the basis of a fetus’ gender, race or disability, but it couldn’t get a hearing in the House. So the Senate added that language to the House bill.

Those legislative maneuvers led several members of the House Republican caucus who typically cast so-called “pro-life” votes to vote “no” on the final bill. Rep. Peggy Mayfield, R-Martinsville, isn’t one of them.

“I’m expected to choose procedure over life,” says Mayfield.

Rep. Sean Eberhart, R-Shelbyville, says the debate is a perfect example of why the chamber needs more women.

“A bunch of middle-aged guys sitting in this room [are] making decisions for what we think is best for women,” says Eberhart. “We just need to quit pretending that we know what’s best for women and their health care needs.”

The measure passed 60 to 40 and heads to the governor’s desk.

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