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An Indiana senate bill could place further restrictions on abortion in the state. Senate Bill 334 would make it illegal to perform an abortion if the decision is based on a fetus’s sex or disability. Writers of the bill say they are trying to prevent discriminatory abortions.
A healthcare provider could face wrongful death and medical malpractice charges if found knowingly performing an abortion for a woman who wants to terminate a pregnancy because of the fetus’ sex or a potential disability.Disabilities specifically mentioned in the bill include scoliosis, Dwarfism, albinism, amelia, Down syndrome and any type of physical or mental disease or disfigurement. Many abortions rights advocates say the bill is troubling.
Betty Cockrum, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, said Senate Bill 334 interferes with the sacred doctor-patient relationship.
“It gets government into an arena where it shouldn’t be at all,” Cockrum said.
Cockrum also said that while abortions based on a fetus’s sex may be an issue overseas, it is not a concern in Indiana. But mental health and disabilities are. Cockrum says parents of children with disabilities need help, but she says government funding for disability services would help more than this proposed law.
“The services to families who have developmentally challenged children are underfunded, and if members of the legislature see it fit to impose government intrusion into this decision making, they sure ought to step up and fully fund services,” said Cockrum.
President of Indiana Right to Life, Mike Fichter, did not return a call for comment today. He supports the bill. Fichter was quoted in the Indianapolis Star, saying Indiana Right to Life doesn’t “believe an unborn child should be discriminated against based on disability or sex.” A Senate committee approved the bill last week and it now awaits a vote before the full Senate.