On Thursday, Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed a bill that places more restrictions on abortion in the state. The bill bans women from seeking abortions based on race, gender or disability of the fetus, as well as placing new restrictions on doctors.
The bill, House Enrolled Act 1337, which Pence called a “comprehensive pro-life measure,” is the latest legislation in the state’s continued chipping away of abortion rights. Indiana already has some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, including waiting periods, mandatory counseling, mandatory ultrasounds, and insurance restrictions. Pence has never shied away from conservative legislation; last year he signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a controversial bill that essentially gave the state a license to discriminate against the LGTBQ community. And Pence has signed every piece of abortion legislation that the legislature has put on his desk.
But HEA 1337 is particularly notable because it’s one of the most expansive restriction bills recently signed. The bill holds doctors liable if a woman has an abortion based on sex, race or disability (like Down’s Syndrome) and the law makes fetal tissue donation nearly impossible. It mandates that women be required to bury or cremate the fetus post-termination, a reaction to the purposefully misleading Planned Parenthood videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress. And it gets worse: HEA 1337 also mandates that abortion physicians have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.
“Seeing them all in one place, that is very striking,” Dawn Johnsen, an Indiana University law professor told the New York Times. “It’s like the kitchen sink: Everything that isn’t already in the law. And the law is already really restrictive.”
Needless to say, anti-choice advocates and Pence are pleased with the bill; at the signing the Governor said that the bill “will ensure the dignified final treatment of the unborn and prohibits abortions that are based only on the unborn child’s sex, race, color, national origin, ancestry or disability, including Down syndrome.”
Image via AP.