Indiana House Passes Unprecedented “Junk Science” Legislation Forcing Doctors to Lie to Patients
For Immediate Release: Feb. 22, 2021 (Updated: Feb. 22, 2021, 5:30 p.m.)
While people are losing their jobs and dying of COVID at record rates, legislators renewed their draconian attacks on access to safe and legal abortion care
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Today, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana and Kentucky (PPAIK) condemned Indiana legislators for passing House Bill 1577, a bill that would not only force medical professionals to lie to their patients, but would dangerously complicate pregnancies across the state. While abortion is an incredibly safe medical procedure, it is unsafe for lawmakers to push false and unproven claims not based in medicine or scientific evidence. The bill passed in a vote of 67-27 and heads to the Senate.
“This legislation, introduced by politicians role-playing as doctors and scientists, is an insidious and offensive undermining of Indiana’s health care system, and it must stop here,” said LaKimba DeSadier, Indiana State Director at PPAIK. “HB 1577 will not only be costly to the taxpayers because of litigation, but it will be damaging to providers, patients, and overall access to care desperately needed by people across Indiana. Even worse, this bills harms communities of color the most with its systemically racist policies tied to discrimination, under-investment and lack of high-quality affordable health care. In the state with the second most abortion restrictions in the country, our elected leaders continue to be out of touch and out of line. We cannot allow this amateurish patchwork of junk science policies to become law. We are in the fight for our lives, but our elected leaders are in a fight to keep their seats by playing politics with your health care.”
HB 1577 includes a number of frivolous and punitive restrictions on providers that will limit and stigmatize abortion care. It includes the fraudulent idea that medication abortion can be “reversed” by requiring providers to share this dangerous and medically inaccurate information, even though the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has found that “so-called abortion “reversal” procedures are unproven and unethical.”
This harmful bill also requires minors to jump through even more hoops when accessing abortion care. Indiana already requires parental consent, a process that is opposed by the United States leading health professional associations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics. This bill creates additional barriers by inexplicably requiring a parental consent form to be notarized, essentially requiring that parents prove their identity to providers—a practice that is not required for any other medical procedure in the state.
Six states — Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, Utah, and South Dakota currently have this law in place. Arizona tried to enact this law, but failed to do so — and its attempt cost the state $600,000 in legal fees. In 2019, judges in North Dakota and Oklahoma also blocked the law. Most recently in Tennessee, a federal judge blocked the law because the mandate is “misleading.”
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Indiana and Kentucky (PPAIK) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to ensuring access to affordable reproductive health care, including abortion, by educating residents and policy-makers about issues affecting Hoosiers and Kentuckians. PPAIK lobbies and educates to advance Planned Parenthood’s mission and engages in limited electoral activities.