By Dave Andrusko
When Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed HB1577 into law Thursday, Indiana became the second state in less than a week to pass an informed consent law that requires abortionists to inform women undergoing chemical abortions that it may be possible to reverse the abortion using a technique known as Abortion Pill Reversal. With the additions of the Hoosier state and West Virginia, APR laws are now on the books in 13 states.
HB 1577 passed overwhelmingly in the Indiana House (62-25) and Senate (36-14).
“NRLC applauds the efforts of Governor Eric Holcomb, the pro-life legislators, and Indiana Right to Life for their relentless pursuit of saving as many unborn babies as possible by enacting live-saving abortion pill reversal law that will provide mothers with a second chance at life for their babies,” said Ingrid Duran, NRLC Director of State Legislation.
Chemical (or “medication”) abortions is a two-step process. APR requires that the woman not take the second drug (misoprostol) and instead take progesterone in an attempt to neutralize the impact of the first drug (mifepristone). Over 2,000 babies have been saved to date, according to Heartbeat International.
In 2019, of the approximately 7,600 abortions performed in Indiana, chemical abortions accounted for 44%.
The bill is scheduled to take effect in July and, predictably, the ACLU of Indiana is making noises about challenging the law in court.
During debate, bill sponsor state Rep. Peggy Mayfield said, “What we want to do is just provide the women with the information so you don’t have to Google it, because it is very time sensitive that you have this information.”
According to Indiana Right to Life, NRLC’s state affiliate, Dr. Christina Francis, president of the American Association of Pro-Life Ob/Gyns (AAPLOG) and a board member of Indiana Right to Life, testified earlier in favor of the bil. “If we truly care about women being able to make informed choices, that should include knowing there’s an option if they change their mind,” she said.
Indiana Right to Life explained that
Another provision of HB 1577 includes a requirement that women receiving state-required informed consent counseling, at least 18-hours prior to an abortion, and be given a photo of their baby’s ultrasound. In addition, a copy of the photo must be attached to her file so that state inspectors can verify the required ultrasound was performed.
HB 1577 also ties an abortion clinic’s health and safety reporting to the state’s licensing process, preventing clinics with open inspection violations from receiving rubber stamp approval for licensing renewal.
The bill also requires that any parental signatures for a minor’s abortion must be notarized as an additional step to help prevent falsification of parental signatures.
In addition, conscience protections are extended to mental health workers to protect them from being forced to facilitate or counsel for abortions, if such individuals object on ethical, moral or religious grounds.