The Indiana Senate approved a bill Tuesday that supporters say give parents rights in abortions involving underage girls, while the measure’s detractors argue it’s unconstitutional.
Under current law, if a girl under 18 doesn’t want to get her parents’ consent for an abortion, she can go to court to seek what’s called judicial bypass. Legislation approved by the Senate requires at least one parent or guardian to be notified of that judicial hearing before it can proceed.
The measure also allows someone to bring a civil action against someone else who helps a child unlawfully get an abortion, which Republican Senator Vaneta Becker says makes the abortion public record.
“All this bill will do is encourage back-alley abortions,” Becker says.
Bill author Republican Sen. Erin Houchin says her measure isn’t about women’s rights.
“This is a bill about parental rights,” Houchin says. “And when we’re speaking of abortions under these circumstances, these are not women seeking abortions. They are children.”
The Senate amended the bill Monday, clarifying who’s defined in the bill as a parent and how the notification process would work.
The bill passed 36-13, moving to the House. Four Republicans joined Democrats in voting no.