On Thursday, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed into law House Enrolled Act 1337, which creates limitations on abortion in the state of Indiana.
The Editorial Board believes the law is unnecessary for women’s rights and should be repealed immediately.
HEA 1337 puts a wide range of burdens on women seeking abortions. Healthcare facilities must provide final disposition of a miscarried or aborted fetus, and a fetus cannot be aborted solely because of its race, color, national origin, ancestry or sex.
The restrictions extend to diagnosis or potential diagnosis of the fetus having Down syndrome or any other disability, and there must be at least 18 hours between when a woman hears the ultrasound and heart tones of the fetus and when the abortion takes place, among other regulations.
All of these regulations will make it more difficult for a woman to obtain an abortion.
If healthcare providers must provide the final interment or cremation of a miscarried or aborted fetus, then providers could theoretically increase fees for an abortion to cover the costs of disposition.
Doing so could limit lower-income women from obtaining abortions if they cannot afford to pay for the service, making abortion services only available for wealthier women.
The stipulation in the law that a fetus cannot be aborted solely due to the given reasons may affect whether women can seek an abortion if the fetus has a severe disability.
If a woman aborted her fetus from an out-of-state provider, she might not follow-up with her regular doctor out of fear, the Chicago Tribute reported.
Some women may not have the financial resources to consider going out of state for an abortion, and if they do have the financial means to do so, they may put their health at risk by not telling their doctor about the procedure.
Requiring a woman to wait 18 hours to have an abortion after hearing the ultrasound and heart tones of the fetus also affects a woman’s ability to obtain an abortion because some women may not have the funds to take a day or two off work to obtain the procedure.
Every aspect of the bill was intentionally designed to limit a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion.
The Editorial Board joins several others, including Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Representative Sharon Negele, in condemning the bill and demanding its repeal.
Since HEA 1337 was passed, the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana made a post on its Facebook page expressing concern over the passage of the bill. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky will also be working with the state’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union to file a lawsuit against the bill, Fox 59 reported.
The Editorial Board states repealing this law is necessary for the rights and safety of all women in Indiana and must be done as soon as possible.