January 9, 2013 — Two Indiana senators have proposed legislation (SB 101) that would require the state's health department to develop written materials that doctors would have to give to women seeking abortions, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.
The measure, authored by Sens. Dennis Kruse (R) and Jim Banks (R), would require that the written packet contain detailed color photos showing the development of a fetus every two weeks of gestation. The packet also would include information about adoption and explain the medical risks associated with an abortion compared with carrying a pregnancy to term. The packet would be titled, "A Woman's Right to Know."
Banks said the measure is intended to strengthen a law requiring the state health department to post similar information online, adding, "The ultimate goal is to make information readily available to these women so they can read it and study it before they make this decision." He said SB 101 would address funding problems that hindered similar bills in the past.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana President Betty Cockrum called the measure "incredibly redundant." She rejected the argument that the packets are intended to ensure that women are fully informed of their options. "This is just these legislators getting on their white horses under the guise of protecting us," she said.
Cockrum added that the bill's proponents are ignoring its fiscal impact at a time when they should be prioritizing job creation. If passed, the measure would cost the state between $5,100 and $20,100, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency (Covington/Price, Louisville Courier-Journal, 1/6).
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.