For Immediate Release
(Indy Feminists) Friday, March 11, 2016
Constituents sharply condemn abortion legislation, urge Pence to veto
In protest of the passage of House Enrolled Act 1337 against the wishes of constituents, Indy Feminists will deliver a petition signed by over 1800 people to Governor Mike Pence on Monday, March 14, 2016 at noon in the Indiana Statehouse. This anti-abortion legislation creates a hostile health environment not just for abortion patients, but for all pregnant Hoosiers, and the doctors who serve them.
Continuing a history of big-government overreach, Indiana’s lawmakers are once more inserting themselves into Hoosiers’ private medical decisions in passing anti-abortion legislation that shames, coerces, and demeans pregnant people at a time when the greatest need is for support and accurate medical information.
HEA 1337 employs false stereotypes about marginalized communities to create an unconstitutional ban on abortion based on disability status, race and sex – even before viability. Legal precedents say states may NOT impose undue burdens on a woman’s right to choose during the period of pregnancy before the fetus is viable. Earlier this year, the US Supreme Court refused to hear two abortion cases – thereby reaffirming the viability criteria of Roe v. Wade (Arkansas’ ban on abortion at 12 weeks of pregnancy & North Dakota’s 6-week ban).
The stereotypes employed by this legislation have no supporting evidence in the US. If signed in to law, HEA 1337 would only serve to increase any trauma or grief the pregnant person and their family may be experiencing. This jeopardizes the sacred trust needed for the doctor/patient relationship and makes patients scared to speak honestly about pregnancy concerns.
HEA 1337 requires the state health department to develop mandatory scripts of information about perinatal hospice care for people whose pregnancies have been diagnosed with a lethal fetal anomaly. Pregnant patients have always had the option of hospice. The handling of a tragic pregnancy outcome, and the remains, should be made between patients and their doctors, with compassion, not coercion.
HEA 1337 exposes doctors to harm by disclosing abortion providers’ back-up physicians and hospital agreements to all hospitals in the area around an abortion clinic – at a time where the political and social climate is filled with violent rhetoric and domestic terrorism towards abortion providers.
Finally, HEA 1337 shames and demeans patients in need of compassion in a time of loss, by mandating the burial and cremation of miscarried or aborted remains. To complete this process, a pregnant person would have to complete a form that could potentially jeopardize their privacy by requesting their name – a potential HIPAA breach.
This long list still does not describe all of the ways HEA 1337 threatens doctors and patients. The provisions in HEA 1337 limit access to legal healthcare, shame patients, and do nothing to protect the health of Hoosiers. Governor Pence should veto this legislation.
Contact name: Harmony Glenn