Indiana is a Haven of Reason in the current political storm. Mike Pence showed Hoosier “horse sense” when he refused to disregard the election results and crown Donnie president on Jan 6. When that 10 year old rape victim was refused an abortion in Ohio, she received it in Indiana. Rather than move to Canada for reasonable politics, I only need to cross western PA and Ohio. I prefer basketball to hockey anyway.
Actually, Indiana is not a Haven of Reason. It is simply late to the post-Roe “Let’s Out-Do the Other States in Restricting Abortion” party. The well-gerrymandered and therefore Republican-dominated Indiana Legislature is making up for lost time. The current bill outlaws abortion except for cases of rape or incest. That seems somewhat reasonable. Unfortunately, the exception is only good up to eight weeks of pregnancy, twelve weeks if the victim is under age sixteen. High school kids take a bit longer to realize they are pregnant.
But what if a woman or girl falsely claims rape or incest to obtain abortion on demand? Well, we can’t have that in Indiana. The bill requires that the victim submit an affidavit “under penalty of perjury”. The victim needs to pay for a lawyer. But there are plenty of sleazy lawyers out there. The affidavit must also be notarized. The victim must cough up a few additional bucks. Still not good enough. The rape or incest must be reported on a criminal complaint to authorities. Rape victims would really enjoy reliving the trauma all over again.
Another exception is if “the pregnancy results in substantial impairment to the life of the mother.” “Substantial impairment” is, of course not defined. What is defined is a six year prison sentence for abortion providers. Would an Emergency Room physician facing a pregnant woman bleeding out from an ectopic pregnancy risk six years in prison to remove a fetus that will not survive anyway?
Do you think that this bill was written mostly by men?
But wait, there’s more…The legislators noted that “radical Democrat Prosecutors may not prosecute illegal abortions to the fullest extent of the new law.” The bill therefore allows the (Republican) State Attorney General to prosecute cases under this law.
Are the Right to Life folks satisfied? Hell, no. “This bill is a wolf in sheep’s clothing designed to expand abortion on demand in Indiana!”, claimed its Indiana chairwoman.
If by “on demand”, she means hiring a lawyer, submitting an affidavit, reliving the rape to a less-than-sympathetic cop, and finding a doctor unafraid of six years in prison, Indiana’s bill is that “wolf”.
By Ed Dufton