Female symbol fist 2019

Every year, Indiana lawmakers file a slew of bills meant to codify what women can and can’t do with their lady-parts and what kind of medical treatment they are entitled to when deciding whether to terminate a pregnancy or carry it to term. 

2019 is no different.

From Rep. Curt Nisly’s desire to outlaw abortion entirely to Rep. Peggy Mayfield introducing the latest GOP lingo with a ban on “dismemberment abortion,” here’s ten pieces of legislation introduced so far aimed at governing pregnancies and/or the treatment of pregnant women and their bodies.

1. Repeal Abortion Protections

  • HB 1430, authored by Rep. Curt Nisly, repeals the statutes authorizing and regulating abortion. Finds that human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm. Asserts a compelling state interest in protecting human physical life from the moment that human physical life begins. Provides that court decisions to enjoin the law are void. Specifies the duty of Indiana officials to enforce the law. Specifies that federal officials attempting to enforce contrary court orders against Indiana officials enforcing the law shall be subject to arrest by Indiana law enforcement. Redefines "human being" for purposes of the criminal code to conform to the finding that human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm. Makes other conforming changes.

2. Late-Term Abortion Ban

  • HB 1211, authored by Rep. Peggy Mayfield and co-authored by Rep. Christy Stutzman, provides that a person may not knowingly or intentionally perform a dismemberment abortion unless a physician reasonably believes that performing the dismemberment abortion is necessary to: (1) prevent serious health risks to the mother; or (2) save the mother's life. Provides that the penalty for performing a dismemberment abortion is a Level 5 felony. Amends the definition of "abortion complication".

3. Hospital Abortion Exemption

  • SB 201, authored by Sen. Liz Brown, includes health care providers in the prohibition from being required to perform an abortion or assist or participate in procedures intended to result in an abortion if the health care provider objects to the procedures on ethical, moral, or religious grounds. (Current law applies only to physicians and employees.)

4. Ban on Fetal Cell Research

  • SB 584, authored by Sen. Liz Brown, prohibits after June 30, 2019, the initiation and performance of fetal stem cell research by the state, a state educational institution, or a political subdivision of the state that receives public funds. Makes a conforming amendment. 

5. Drug Screening Pregnant Women

  • HB 1007, authored by Rep. Cindy Kirchhofer, requires a healthcare provider to: (1) use a validated and evidence based verbal screening tool to assess a substance use disorder in pregnancy for all pregnant women who are seen by the health care provider; and (2) if the health care provider identifies a pregnant woman who has a substance use disorder and is not currently receiving treatment, provide treatment or refer the patient to treatment.

6. Reproductive Rights Guarantee

  • SB 589, authored by Sen. Jean Breaux, states that every individual has a fundamental right to: (1) choose or refuse contraception or sterilization; (2) parent the individual's child; and (3) choose, if the individual is pregnant, whether to carry a pregnancy to term, give birth, place the child for adoption, or have an abortion. Prohibits the state from denying or interfering with the individual's specified rights. Specifies that a fertilized egg, embryo, and fetus do not have independent rights in Indiana.

7. Contraception Coverage

  • SB 414, authored by Sen. Jean Breaux, requires state employee health plans, policies of accident and sickness insurance, and health maintenance organization contracts to provide coverage for contraceptive products and services without cost sharing. Exempts certain policies and contracts sold to certain employers.

8. Doula Coverage

  • SB 416, authored by Sen. Jean Breaux and Sen. Ed Charbonneau, requires Medicaid pregnancy services to include reimbursement for doula services.

9. Pregnancy and Childbirth Discrimination

  • SB 590 authored by Sen. Vaneta Becker and Sen. Ronald Grooms, prohibits an employer from discriminating against a pregnant job applicant or employee. Requires an employer to provide reasonable employment accommodations for a pregnant employee. Requires the civil rights commission to investigate complaints and attempt to resolve complaints.

10. Patient Rights for Pregnant Women

  • HB 1326, authored by Rep. Vanessa Summers, requires certain health care providers providing obstetric services to a pregnant woman to provide the woman with written information concerning the pregnant woman's rights for pregnancy care. Requires the state department of health to establish a program to educate women on a woman's rights when pregnant.



Feel free to refer to me as a writer, traveler, mother, feminist, book collector, native Hoosier, Garfield Park dweller, or Tom Petty fan. All apply.