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Indiana Becomes Latest State to Pass Dangerous Health Care Restrictions During a Deadly Pandemic

 

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates (PPAA) condemns the passage of House Bill 1577, a dangerous and harmful bill with extreme abortion restrictions, and calls on Governor Eric Holcomb to veto the legislation. HB 1577 passed the House today with a final vote of 63-25. This legislation would force medical professionals to lie to their patients and would dangerously complicate the health and well-being of pregnant people across the state.

“Indiana already ranks second in the nation for the number of abortion restrictions, second only to Louisiana. It is a disgrace that even during a public health crisis, the Indiana General Assembly wasted time to pass House Bill 1577, an unconstitutional bill that peddles the dangerously misleading lie that medication abortion can be ‘reversed,’” said LaKimba DeSadier, Indiana State Director for PPAA. “It also creates unscientific restrictions on medication abortion. Amid the COVID-19 crisis, a nationwide racial reckoning, and the economic fallout from the pandemic, our elected officials are focused on harmful abortion restrictions to score political points. Politics have no place in the exam room. Gov. Holcomb must veto this dangerous bill and stop taking away access to our most basic rights and freedoms.”

In addition, HB 1577 requires minors to jump through even more hoops when accessing abortion. Indiana already requires parental consent, which is opposed by the United States leading health professional associations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics. HB 1577 creates additional barriers by inexplicably requiring a parental consent form to be legally notarized, essentially requiring that parents prove their identity to providers — an onerous and difficult practice that is not required for any other medical procedure in the state.

This bill will be damaging to providers, patients, and overall access to care desperately needed by people across Indiana. Even worse, this bill builds upon centuries of systemically racist policies, chronic under-investment, and barriers to high-quality affordable health care, harming communities of color the most.

HB 1577 includes a number of frivolous and punitive restrictions on providers that will limit and stigmatize abortion care. It requires physicians to lie to their patients, telling them a medication abortion can be "reversed", even though the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) found that so-called abortion “reversal” procedures are unproven and unethical.” 

Since 2015, politicians across the country have passed similar laws trying to force providers to promote the medically inaccurate idea that a medication abortion can be "reversed” — a debunked claim based on junk science peddled by anti-abortion researchers. In 2019, courts blocked similar laws in North Dakota and Oklahoma

“We cannot allow this amateur patchwork of junk science to become law. As long as Indiana continues to pass unpopular, unconstitutional bills in your state, we will continue to take legal action against these egregious attacks,” DeSadier said.

 

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Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates, Serving AK, HI, ID, IN, KY, WA (PPAA) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization educating residents and policymakers about reproductive health issues in Alaska, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky and Washington. PPAA lobbies and educates to advance Planned Parenthood's mission, and engages in limited electoral activities.

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