In spite of the setback of Indiana’s new abortion pill reversal law being blocked by a federal judge, multiple
provisions of 2021’s House Bill 1577 went into effect on July 1, as well as a $250,000 per year increase in the state budget for Indiana’s Real Alternatives program. These new policies include:
Women must be given their baby’s ultrasound photo. Requires that women considering an abortion be given a photo of their baby’s ultrasound at least 18 hours before an abortion. Women deserve to see the unique child who is at stake in an abortion decision. Not only does this visual lend to their informed consent, but it could very well change their minds about going through with their decision. A 2014 study out of the University of California, San Francisco demonstrated that some women who viewed their ultrasound ahead of having an abortion were more likely to continue a pregnancy than those who did not view their ultrasound. H.B. 1577 requires that a copy of the woman’s ultrasound photo be placed in her files so inspectors can ensure ultrasounds are being performed.
Conscience protections for mental health workers. Prevents mental health workers from being forced to provide counseling for abortions. Out of concern that the Biden Administration will force mental health workers to provide “all-options” counseling to pregnant women, Indiana law will protect the conscience rights of these workers.
Ban on Use of Telemedicine for Abortion Counseling. With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, Planned Parenthood announced that it would be pushing its telemedicine platform to all 50 states, starting in April 2020. It touted this platform as a means for making abortions more available to women during the global crisis. Indiana
remains committed to ensuring that women receive in-person evaluation and counseling when weighing something as life-altering (and life-ending) as an abortion decision.
Hoosier independence to regulate chemical abortions. Removes the tie between Indiana law and Food & Drug Administration regulations on chemical abortions. The Biden Administration has already turned back the clock on multiple pro-life policies secured by the Trump Administration. Should the FDA go so far as to make chemical abortions available over the counter (which is expected), Indiana will maintain independence in ensuring the drugs are properly regulated and lives are protected.
Abortion clinic accountability. Blocks abortion clinics from annual license renewal if they have unresolved inspection violations. When an abortion facility fails to meet standards set forth by the Indiana State Department of Health, they must be held accountable.
House Bill 1577 was authored by Rep. Peggy Mayfield and sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Liz Brown. Passage of HB 1577 is a reminder of the importance of electing pro-life legislators to office.