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INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, January 31, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — The Indiana state senate is taking up “top priority” pro-life legislation to protect the lives and health of women.

The Senate Judiciary Committee sent Senate Bill 340, co-authored by Sens. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, and Liz Brown, R-Fort Wayne, to the full senate by a vote of 6-1 last week.  The proposed law would:

— require reporting of abortion complications that have left women injured to the state Department of Health (DOH), including incidents of renal failure, heart attack, excessive hemorrhaging, blood clots, infection, serious post-abortive depression, anxiety, or sleep disorders.

— ensure women are properly informed when undergoing a chemical abortion.

— require abortion businesses to disclose inspection reports and DOH-required recommendations, whether the clinic has ever been forced to close, and any felony convictions of abortion workers.

Roe v Wade placed the responsibility on the states to inspect the safety and regulate the limits of abortion. Bill sponsors say that means state lawmakers must keep informed of industry changes and problems to better protect women.

One trend, Indiana Right to Life's Sue Swayze pointed out, is an increase in chemical abortions using the dangerous RU-486, which can lead to life-threatening sepsis.  

Since RU-486 was approved by the Clinton administration in 2000, so many women have died from blood poisoning that the FDA was forced to issue a Public Health Advisory warning.

More than 1,050 women experienced serious medical problems in the drug’s first five years alone, including emergency blood transfusions, hospitalizations, life-threatening complications, and death.

The drug’s label includes a warning: “Serious and sometimes fatal bleeding and infections occur.”

Swayze said 26 percent of Indiana abortions are now drug-induced, resulting in higher complication rates. Hence the concern for better protocol, including informed consent.  She said the bill is her organization's top priority.

Sen. Brown considers SB 340 common-sense legislation. “It’s actually a pretty simple bill,” she said. “What we’re doing is just adopting rules basically to make sure that as the healthcare industry has progressed, we stay up with it.”

Ob-GYN Dr. Christina Francis, president of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, said legitimate surgical facilities must track complication rates, and so abortion businesses should be just as accountable for the safety of women.

“If the state of Indiana is really interested in the health of women … then the best way we can do this is find out information,” Brown said.

“The only way that truly informed consent is possible is if we know accurate complication rates of the procedures and medications that we’re recommending,” Dr. Francis explained. “In order to allow women to make a truly informed choice, we must have accurate information to give them.”

Abortion advocates oppose the bill, saying that putting their industry under greater scrutiny only creates additional barriers to abortion access. Lynne Bunch of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky fearfully spoke of her concern that “the avenue to safe and legal abortion” may be “eliminated.”

“This is nothing but big brother state government sticking their nose into an area of a person’s life that they have no business knowing about,” argued pro-abortion Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, “done solely to try to chill the rights of women.”

Pro-life measures have directly contributed to a huge drop in abortions over the past decade, but some have not survived judicial decrees. SB 340's cost analysis itself noted that recent abortion lawsuits fighting pro-life safety regulations have cost taxpayers $300,000 in awarded opponents' legal fees alone.


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