INDIANAPOLIS—A Republican member of the Indiana General Assembly reportedly plans to file legislation similar to the abortion law implemented in Texas this week. The Texas law would ban most abortions after six weeks, as well as allow anyone to bring a court case against anyone else involved in obtaining an abortion—including relatives who help with cost, anyone who provides a ride, counselors, clinic staff and so on. Under the law, members of the public can sue those who help a woman obtain an abortion for $10,000, and a site to report those suspected of helping women obtain abortions has already gone live.
State Senator and ranking minority member of the Senate Health and Provider Services Committee Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis), State Senator Shelli Yoder (D-Bloomington) and State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) released the following statement on the US Supreme Court’s actions that upheld the restrictive abortion law in Texas, as well as the reports that Indiana will be considering a similar law in the 2022 legislative session:
Senator Breaux said, “2021 has been one of the worst years for anti-choice legislation across the country, and the recent legislation out of Texas is among the worst. I’m appalled that similar legislation is being considered in Indiana. This is not about life, this is about politics and striking down Roe vs Wade and nearly 50 years of Supreme Court precedent. Women’s healthcare decisions should be between her and her doctor, not citizens looking to shame women. If this bill were really about life, then Indiana legislators would spend more time addressing our historic child hunger rates, addressing educational gaps and discrepancies in healthcare for Black babies. We cannot allow this unnecessarily draconian legislation to become law in Indiana.”
“Indiana prides itself on being a parental rights’ state that elevates family values—but legislation like this is blatantly contradictory to that,” Sen. Yoder said. “This legislation intentionally sets up roadblocks for parents and loved ones to be a part of a family member’s medical decision, and penalizes them for offering aid or support. Imagine, for example, a stranger being able to report and sue a parent for counseling their daughter who became pregnant after being raped. It’s ridiculous, and any attempt to replicate this law in Indiana would be nothing more than yet another Republican attempt to shame and isolate women.
“One thing that really concerns me about the Texas law being considered in our state is that it has the power to put women and girls who are victims of assault in a position where they have less rights than their abuser. Right now, 1 out of 4 Indiana women report being sexually assaulted by the age of eighteen. Under the Texas law, in cases where rape leads to a pregnancy, the rapist now has the ability to control your daughter’s access to reproductive health and even sue her for monetary damages.”
“This legislation is a horrifying case of allowing vigilantes to invade women’s privacy, and take away real healthcare options that could save their lives,” Senator Tallian said. “True freedom of religion doesn’t allow for a radical minority to forcibly dictate their religious beliefs onto the rest of the country. I am deeply concerned that the Chair of the Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee is taking this extreme position. The mission of that committee is to uphold the law and the Constitution for all citizens, not just those who agree with you.
“By introducing legislation that deputizes citizens to police the bodies of women, we create a world where women have to fear for their safety and constantly worry what others may think when they seek healthcare. I am concerned that extremists will stand outside women’s clinics demanding to know their personal information to police and sue them for seeking an abortion, when they may be walking in for an annual exam. This is a horrifying place to be. We cannot allow this to become law in Indiana.”