The attacks by politicians on women’s bodies continue, and this time Indiana is front and center. This week the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law that requires embryonic and fetal tissue from an abortion or miscarriage to be buried or cremated. This is yet another attempt to further traumatize women and reduce a woman’s right to self-determination.
The supermajority is using politics to insert themselves into the hospital room where a woman just went through a miscarriage and will now force her to making funeral arrangements for fetal remains while she is still grieving. This is what happened to one of my constituents. A woman wrote to me about a pregnancy she wanted, and her heartbreak when she miscarried. While nursing her heartbreak, she was asked about funeral arrangements for her miscarried remains, as was the hospital’s policy. She wrote to me about how traumatizing it was to have to make those decisions while processing a miscarriage. That having to make those decisions was not part of her process of healing and moving forward. Do we now want this to be the law of the land? Where politicians are traumatizing women so they can shame them for their miscarriage or abortion? I hope not. Will the financial burden of tissue disposal be on a woman who almost died from a miscarriage or will the costs associated with burial or cremation of a fetus fall on the insurance companies to cover?
This isn’t about life. If it was about life, then Indiana wouldn’t have the second highest child abuse rate in the nation. That’s 29,000 of our living and breathing children experiencing a life full of heartbreaking abuse. Enough hurting children to fill Bankers Life Fieldhouse with a line of 10,000 more wrapped around the building. Why isn’t the Republican supermajority spending their time in the Statehouse fighting for their rights? If this was about life, the supermajority wouldn’t have refused funding for a program to keep infants safe at a time when Indiana has the 7th highest rate of infant mortality in the nation. If this was about life, then 1 in 6 Hoosier children wouldn’t actually feel hunger pangs every single day. No, it is not about life. This is about control over women. It is about making sure women never get access to opportunities that come with full bodily autonomy. If it were truly about life, the Republican supermajority would fully fund the many existing programs that seek to support and protect the lives of children currently living in Indiana.
This policy won’t stop abortions. Its intent is to shame, punish and cost women. To inflict trauma on women for no other reason than because those in charge can. I will continue to fight for every woman to have full control over her own body. I trust women to make their own healthcare decisions. I will fight this policy when I am back at the Statehouse during the next legislative session. Women are not second class citizens. We will not stand for this abuse of power. We demand equality in the law.