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Women's Health Advocacy Update - LWVIN - 2/8/2021
Oh, HB 1577, how do I loathe thee?
By Sabrina Glidden
Posted on 3/3/2021 11:17 AM
Oh, HB 1577, how do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways . . . 

Attempting to unpack the full scope of this bill, authored by Rep. Peggy Mayfield, is quite a task. This cannot be done in one afternoon, yet the bill passed the Public Health Committee on February 15th with only a few conscientious representatives calling into question the obvious risks, invasions of privacy and wisdom of physicians, and its outright disregard for the Constitutional rights of individuals seeking legal abortion services. From Committee, HB 1577 went to a second reading, and was passed in the House on February 22nd with 67 yeas and 29 nays. 

This bill takes several steps in several different segments of healthcare, freedom of speech, medical ethics, and puts at risk the health of women who have already decided to end their pregnancies within 10 weeks. That's right--within 10 weeks. This is NOT about the so-called "late-term abortions," a fictitious term bandied about by politicians and preachers alike to demonize women for exercising our Constitutional freedom. Today's blog entry is a mere introduction. I have tons of research completed, but time does not allow for me to get a full grasp on any one of the issues in HB 1577 in writing. I'm starting by asking you to read the digest version as it appears at the Indiana General Assembly portal. (Accessed March 3, 2021)

DIGEST: Telemedicine and abortion related services. Adds mental health providers to the list of persons who may not be required to participate in specified procedures and practices concerning abortion or aborted remains if the mental health provider objects to such procedures and practices on the basis of ethical, moral, or religious belief. Provides that an abortion inducing drug may not be dispensed, prescribed, or given to a woman after eight weeks of postfertilization age. Requires a physician to dispense the abortion inducing drug in person and have the pregnant woman consume the drug in the presence of the physician. Removes FDA guidelines from a provision concerning manufacturer instruction sheets and patient agreement forms pertaining to abortion inducing drugs. Requires an ultrasound image of a pregnant woman's fetus to be provided: (1) to a pregnant woman for her to keep; and (2) at no cost or charge to the pregnant woman; in the event of fetal ultrasound imaging. Requires certain information concerning the reversal of an abortion inducing drug to be provided to a pregnant woman in certain instances. Requires a specified report to identify the: (1) facility; and (2) city or town; where required information concerning an abortion was provided. Requires specified individuals to include, or to ensure the inclusion of, a copy of a pregnant woman's ultrasound report in the applicable patient file. Prohibits an abortion clinic from receiving an annual license renewal if ultrasound reports are not included in a pregnant woman's patient file. Provides that the written parental consent for purposes of abortion laws concerning an unemancipated pregnant woman less than 18 years of age must be notarized. Prohibits the state department of health from renewing an abortion clinic's license if noncompliance discovered during an annual inspection is not remedied. Prohibits the use of telemedicine to provide any abortion, including the writing or filling of a prescription for any purpose that is intended to result in an abortion. Defines certain terms. Makes conforming amendments.

As of February 23rd this bill has been referred to the Senate with sponsors Brown L, Houchin, and Rogers. The following days will have this blog on fire with ways this bill is shaping up to further muddy the waters of what it means to be a woman in this bright red state of Indiana. Gear up, Ladies. We've got calls to make and letters to write to make our voices crystal clear on where we stand. Please subscribe to this blog and share posts with your friends. It's all hands on deck.