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Indiana Advocates Committee for Women's Health Update

Pam Locker, LWV of Indiana Women's Health Advocate | Published on 11/29/2021

Women's March, Oct 2 2021. Photographer Pam Locker.
Women's March, Oct 2 2021. Photographer Pam Locker.

October 2, 2021 Women’s Marches/Rallies in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis

One in 4 American women of reproductive age have had abortions. Both the national and state Leagues have long supported Reproductive Choice. Click HERE to read our position on the Indiana League website. But Roe v. Wade is in jeopardy and LWV has embraced the issue this fall.

LWV joined 2 amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of reproductive rights -- in Whole Women's Health v. Jackson (challenging Texas SB8) and in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health (an important Mississippi case to be heard on Dec. 1.) Read more HERE.

Indiana has more abortion restrictions than any state other than Louisiana. But State Senator Liz Brown has announced that she is already working on a version of Texas SB8 for Indiana.

There were 7,756 abortions in Indiana last year, and medication abortions for the first time made up a majority of those abortion procedures – 55% -- about double the state’s rate from 2016. Medication abortion is limited to the first trimester and consists of two different pills taken up to 48 hours apart. Some states are even allowing telemedicine for these procedures.

So it makes sense that medication abortions are being targeted all over the country.

In 2021 Indiana’s big anti-abortion bill was HB 1577. It required medication abortion providers to sell the fraudulent idea that medication abortion can be reversed, prohibited telemedicine in abortions, and added more restrictions.

We are members of HAPA (Health Access and Privacy Advocates) -- as well as the Indiana Reproductive Freedom Roundtable formed in 2019. The Roundtable sent a futile letter to Governor Holcomb urging him to veto HB 1577. Signing on to the letter were 21 organizations, including the Indiana League. In HAPA Zoom meetings throughout 2021 we combed through each page on the website to update the language to reflect current standards of inclusion and diversity.

Because abortion access in Indiana is currently so heavily under attack,
we have determined to shift our focus to something we can actually help improve: access to affordable contraception.

12 states now allow pharmacists to prescribe self-administered hormonal birth control, and 6 additional states are working on implementation. This year HB 1379 (Pharmacist contraceptive prescriptions) was authored by a Republican representative and co-authored by another Republican and 2 Democrats. It died in committee. Please read anti-abortion (and co-sponsor ) Democrat Rita Fleming’s editorial below.

Moving forward we will continue to track a wide variety of bills, with a focus on the affordability and availability of birth control across Indiana as well as maternal health and postpartum coverage. We will also be monitoring how much of the additional $250 million in federal Title X family planning funds just announced is applied for and granted to Indiana clinics.

We have 200 names on our email list for updates. If you want to be added to that list (and/or if you want to join us as an advocate), email Pam Locker at

Pam Locker, Sabrina Glidden, and Betsy Kachmar

See Rep. Rita Fleming's editorial: Health care hypocrisy looms large for Hoosier women, babies