To: The Indiana State House and Governor Eric Holcomb
Stop Indiana's HEA 1337: Protect Pregnant Hoosiers!
Indiana's lawmakers are once more inserting themselves into Hoosiers' private medical decisions by trying to pass HB 1337, an anti-abortion bill that shames, coerces, and demeans pregnant people at a time when they most need support and accurate medical information.
Why is this important?
Indiana is on the verge of passing HEA 1337, a bill that would insert politicians into the private medical decisions of pregnant Hoosiers—adding shame, stigma and barriers at a time when the most critical need is medically accurate information and compassionate care.
1. Creates financial obstacles for pregnant people who access abortion. HEA 1337 requires a pregnant person to receive an ultrasound at the same time they receive (mis)informed consent. This means that (mis)informed consent appointments are longer. Longer appointments means longer wait times for people attempting to meet the state's 18-hour waiting period requirement. This bill makes it harder for a pregnant person to comply with the law.
2. Shames and demeans patients under the guise of compassion. HEA 1337 mandates the burial and cremation of miscarried or aborted remains. This mandate adds unnecessary shaming to patients choosing an abortion and takes away private decision making from very private medical procedures. To complete this process, a pregnant person would have to complete a form – a form that jeopardizes their privacy by requesting their name.
3. Informs with the intent to coerce. HEA 1337 requires the state health department to develop information about perinatal hospice care for people whose pregnancies have been diagnosed with a lethal fetal anomaly. This is a hard and heart breaking time for people, and the information they receive should support them in making the best decisions for themselves, their health and well-being. It shouldn't shame them or coerce them into making a particular decision.
4. Adds racist and judgmental prohibitions. HEA 1337 would prohibit abortions done on the basis of the race or sex of the fetus. This relies on stereotypes about marginalized communities to ban abortion for reasons that have no supporting evidence here in the US. The bill would also prohibit abortions based on the potential or actual diagnosis of the fetus having a disability, potentially increasing any trauma or grief the pregnant person and their family may be experiencing.
5. Jeopardizes the doctor/patient relationship. HEA 1337 creates the mechanism to punish doctors if they do perform an abortion based on sex or disability of the fetus. This turns doctors into investigators of their patients’ motives, may make them wary of providing care, and makes patients scared to trust their medical provider.
6. Exposes doctors to harm. HEA 1337 would disclose the protected documents regarding abortion providers’ back up physicians and hospital admitting agreements to all hospitals in the area around an abortion clinic. This exposes physicians’ information with no benefit to patient care. In a political and social climate filled with violent rhetoric and domestic terrorism towards abortion providers, this is a dangerous risk to take with doctors’ information.
HEA 1337 sets a dangerous precedent for defining what reasons are or are not acceptable for seeking an abortion and lead only to more restrictions on access to safe, legal reproductive health care. The provisions limit access to abortion. They shame and judge women. They do nothing to improve or protect women’s health.
These restrictions are another example of a broader agenda to end access to abortion. Since 2011, state lawmakers across the country have passed more than 280 restrictions on safe, legal abortion. More than in the previous decade (189). Indiana makes up 1/3 of these restrictions making us one of the top four most hostile states to abortion in the nation.
The time is now: Urge members of the Indiana General Assembly and Governor Mike Pence to stop this bill, and protect the rights and health care of pregnant Hoosiers.