Abortion-rights advocates urge Ind. gov. to veto abortion restriction bill

March 16, 2016 — Abortion-rights advocates on Monday urged Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) to veto a bill (HB 1337) that would impose several restrictions on abortion care and fetal tissue disposal, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

According to the AP/Bee, Pence had not received the bill as of Monday. The governor could allow the bill to take effect by opting not to act on the measure within seven days of being filed with his office(AP/Sacramento Bee, 3/14).

Bill details

HB 1337 would ban abortion sought because of the sex of the fetus or a disability diagnosis. Physicians who provide abortion care when they know the procedure is sought for such reasons could face civil liability or disciplinary action.

In addition, the bill would mandate that fetal tissue resulting from abortion or miscarriage be cremated or interred. Further, the bill would make it a misdemeanor to intentionally transport fetal tissue into the state or across state lines unless the tissue was being moved for burial or cremation.

The measure follows an investigation last year into Planned Parenthood, which the state initiated after the release of misleading videos targeting the organization's fetal tissue donation program. In July 2015, the state Department of Health said the investigation found no proof of the Planned Parenthood clinics violating any laws and closed the complaint against the facilities (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/10).

Advocates call for veto

About 30 abortion-rights supporters gathered at the Indiana Statehouse on Monday to speak out against the bill. The advocates submitted a petition to Pence with about 2,700 signatures calling on him to veto the bill.

According to the AP/Bee, the petition follows a letter submitted last week by a national association representing gynecologists that also urged Pence to veto the legislation (AP/Sacramento Bee, 3/14).