Indiana Governor Signs Law Obligating Doctors to Report Abortion Complications to the Government

Illustration for article titled Indiana Governor Signs Law Obligating Doctors to Report Abortion Complications to the Government
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On Sunday, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a law that will obligate doctors to report all cases in which a patient experiences abortion complications to the government. It will go into effect on July 1.


Supporters have framed the bill as a way to protect patients, but—as reported by the Associated Press—abortion rights advocates argue that it’s yet another of the many restrictive abortion laws that burden providers with unnecessary red tape and are intended to frighten anyone seeking care.

According to The Hill, doctors will be expected to report everything from infection to blood clots to death, though abortion has a far lower rate of complications than most other medical procedures. And they must provide a pretty wide data set with that information:

The law stipulates that no identifying information of the woman should be included, but the report must detail the date of the procedure, the age and race of the patient, the county and state of the patient’s residence, the type of abortion obtained by the patient, as well as the name of the facility where the procedure was received.

It would also require information about how many times a patient has terminated a pregnancy, and what their educational level and marital status is.

Classist, racist, and sexist. What a trifecta!

Indiana is actually following in the footsteps of Idaho Governor Butch Otter (are you freaking kidding), who signed a bill less than a week ago that also requires more specific information on people who have suffered any complications following an abortion.

According to the Associated Press, Idaho’s health and welfare agency already collects a limited amount of info on patients, but the new bill extends those limits to include “age, race, how many children she has, if any of their children have died and how many abortions they’ve had in the past.” Doctors must also report “depression, anxiety and sleeping disorders” in tandem.

Though less explicitly horrifying than laws that make no exception for rape or incest, or that force people to bury fetal remains (good one, Mike Pence), this trend is alarming for its transparent disregard for patient privacy. No womb will go unmanaged by the government.

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin



HIPAA is dead, long live HIPAA.