A new Indiana state law requires doctors and hospitals to find out whether or not a woman has had an abortion if she’s seeking treatment for a physical or a psychological condition to see if there’s a correlation between the two.
If there is a correlation, starting July 1, doctors will have to submit an “abortion complications” report to the State Department of Heath. If health care providers fail to file the report, they risk being charged with a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, for each instance of noncompliance.
Self-described “pro-life” Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb argued that 27 other states require similar reporting, and he insists the information is used to accumulate information about complications from abortions and will not restrict access.
The new law’s definition is quite broad ranging from physical injuries brought on by abortion procedures to psychological conditions such as sleeplessness and anxiety.
If a doctor determines there has been a complication due to an abortion, it must be reported to the state — and that will include the patients name, age, race and the country where they reside, the date and country where the abortion procedure occurred, as well as a list of each complication; the date of each and every visit to the doctor; any drugs or medications used and how they were obtained.
Indiana’s state health department is then required to list and publish an anonymous tally of complications from abortions that will be submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the inclusion in the Vital Statistics Report.
Indiana health commissioner OB/GYN, Dr. Kristina Box – appointed by Gov. Holcomb – said rules will now be created to implement the new statute, “That process takes time and will include opportunities for public comment, which I am confident will be provided,” Box said.
A number of anti-abortion groups announced they will start posting details of Indiana’s abortion complications on their websites in an effort to deter women from choosing the procedure.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana’s president Christie Gillespie said the law “is not about enhancing patient safety” and “does absolutely nothing to reduce unintended pregnancies.”
Gillespie added, “(It) adds unnecessary restrictions to Indiana’s licensing requirements for abortion providers and is the perfect example of government intrusion into the sacred relationship between doctors and their patients.”