Heinous Radical Anti-Choice Law Passes in Indiana

There is a reason I call Indiana the Conservative Legislation Lab: As I've said many times before, if you want to know what garbage policies are coming down the conservative pipeline, look no further than Indiana, where Hoosiers are used as guinea pigs by the American Legislative Exchange Council, aka ALEC, which has a massive influence in the state, to test out the latest and greatest in Republican governance theory.

The Republican takeover in Indiana has been extraordinary. And people who sneer at Hoosiers from outside the state (where I grew up and lived most of my life) to simply vote out the Republicans, who are the majority, or to vote in better Democrats, don't understand what the population is facing there.

Like everywhere else: Gerrymandering and voter suppression and dark money and ratfucking. But also the cutting edge in authoritarian consolidation of power. See: Mike Pence and Glenda Ritz.

And it's not like Indiana doesn't have decent Democrats in state office. To the contrary: In 2011, Hoosier Dems fled the state to deny the Indiana House of Representatives the required quorum needed to pass a union-busing "right-to-work" bill. They were in hiding out of state for nearly six weeks, only returning once the Republican majority agreed to take the bill off the table — and after having held out while Republicans fined them and suspended their pay.

It's also important to understand that the Republican-held legislature routinely acts in contravention of the majority of the people in the state. Just one of many examples was 2014's same-sex marriage ban, which was proposed despite the fact that Indiana already had a state law restricting same-sex marriage; despite the fact that legislators were acting in flagrant disregard of the will of the people, who by a clear majority did not want such an amendment added to their state constitution; and despite the fact that, instead, a majority of Hoosiers wanted the existing ban repealed.

All of this is backdrop to the latest bit of heinous fuckery passed into law in Indiana, so you can understand what progressives are up against in the state:

Not only does the law require healthcare providers to launch an abortion inquiry, but it further requires healthcare providers to report "abortion complications" to the state:
A new state law directs Indiana doctors and hospitals to investigate every time a woman seeks treatment for a physical or psychological condition whether she previously had an abortion that is in any way connected to the ailment.

If so, the care provider is obligated starting July 1 to submit a detailed "abortion complications" report to the State Department of Health, or risk being charged with a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, for each instance of noncompliance.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb, who routinely describes himself as "pro-life," approved Senate Enrolled Act 340 with little fanfare Sunday afternoon prior to departing on a three-day Canadian trade mission.

He said similar reporting requirements already are in place in 27 states and exist solely to gather information about abortion complications, without restricting access to the procedure.

Indiana's new law, however, employs a broad definition of abortion complication that ranges from an immediate physical injury due to a surgical abortion to psychological or emotional pain, including anxiety and sleeplessness, that arises possibly years or decades after having an abortion.

Under the statute, doctors who identify an abortion complication must then report to the state: the patient's age, race, and county of residence; the type, date, and location of the abortion; a list of each complication and treatment; the date of every visit to every doctor relating to the complication; and any abortion drugs used by the patient and how they were procured.
This is utterly despicable. It needs national attention. I hope people will amplify what is happening, as the ACLU considers whether to mount (yet another) challenge to (yet another) heinous anti-choice law passed in Indiana.

And I hope that as people do amplify it, they convey the reality of what Hoosiers are facing in their state, instead of making shitty jokes about Republican voters getting what they deserve or casually admonishing progressives to move, which isn't always possible and which shouldn't be a requirement, anyway. No one should have to abandon their home to be safe from autocratic abuses of power.

Tell this story. And tell it in a way in which you align yourself with Hoosier resistance, not in a way in which you stand outside their struggle and shame them for being victimized by the same party that threatens us all, in every corner of this country.

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus