Issuing the latest salvo in the nationwide assault on women’s rights, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence on Thursday signed what reproductive health advocates are calling “one of the worst anti-abortion bills in the country.”
The law, which Pence said he signed “with a prayer,” makes Indiana the second state in the nation, after North Dakota, to ban abortion in cases where a fetal anomaly is detected.
It also mandates the burial and cremation of miscarried or aborted remains; restricts fetal tissue donation; and requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital or to have an agreement with a doctor who does.
In a petition that has so far gathered more than 5,000 signatures, women’s health advocates said the measure adds “shame, stigma, and barriers at a time when the most critical need is medically accurate information and compassionate care.”
And in a statement earlier this month, Indy Feminists declared:
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Furthermore, Indy Feminists warned, “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.”
The law is “a clear attempt to interfere and harm and chill doctors’ willingness to perform abortions,” Dawn Johnsen, an Indiana University law professor who has been an abortion rights advocate, told the New York Times.
According to the Indy Star, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) announced plans to request a preliminary injunction to block the new restrictions less than half an hour after Pence signed the measure. The group said it was “outraged and alarmed” over the development.
PPINK president and CEO Betty Cockrum said Pence “fails to grasp basic facts when it comes to reproductive health.”
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