Tag Archives: Abortion

Indiana Legislators about to make their medical opinion the law

SB 340   will be heard on the House floor this afternoon. There is still time to remind/alert Representatives  that the  bill is unethical, damages Safe Haven laws,  and forces physicians to give false medical advice or face charges. And it will be challenged .

What the bill does, is- wait- forgot to add we’ve already given over 5 million to ACLU from last two court battles.

Before a woman   has the hysterectomy,  ( yes , now they’re regulating hysterectomies), the physician needs to follow a list of what the Legislator’s medical advice. The patient   needs to sign off on it and she has to write a “Dear Woman’s Committee- ” letter that she was told  all their advice, including  her assistance checks would’t be cut off if she refused the hysterectomy that she needs. (?) And yessss she  knows she wont have the parts to get pregnant, and  always good when a DOCTOR is forced to tell you how much this will cost.

Now if its an abortion, there are 10 pages of questions to fill out.

Enough sarcasm- the legislation is bullshit. Legislators of  my State convinced the Moratorium Review Board this was an emergency , and their colleagues in the Senate to ignore every health agency’s statement on the dangers of the unregulated  baby box devices. Not only that , but convinced them  to declare   them safe and add this to   Safe Haven law.  THE   BILL AMENDMENT STATES IF THE BOXES FAIL YOU CANT HOLD US LIABLE.  There is a reason  no other state has them.

Our Infant Mortality rate  has remained in top 7 for years… Governor Holcomb in  his State of the State address cited this as  a priority,  Indiana Mortality Review Committee, Dr. Jerome Adams,  the   Department of Children Services, the State Department of Health, 2 years ago stated they would not endorse them.

There is so much more. The Department of Health will have to divert funds from other programs – to do paperwork, That money, plus the millions on lawsuits could be used for disparity in maternal health, accessible reproductive care, and more.

As a Chaplain  I  often minister with  women facing procedures, Nothing is minor. I cant understand how Sen. Liz Brown or Rep, Borders  or   my Senators would pass  this law? Do they not know women have abortions for medical reasons? Why would you mandate physicians to tell her about Safe Haven laws? Adoption? Or give false statements as to when a fetus feels pain? Or remind them they  can carrying to term? You really  have that low an opinion of women that they didn’t think this  through?

As to the hysterectomy?  Most times that is a very emotional decision. Many want to have more children- or they  aren’t ready to  end that possibility.  But  there are health issues- disorders- and for many reasons they need a hysterectomy.  Where is the holiness in mandating  physicians  to remind women – several times- that they’ll be infertile. To remind them of the cost.  And have them write  a letter about it,

Holiness- yes  I know law and religion  are separate,   SB 340  is deliberate cruelty  on Legislators part- but they absolve themselves and have it delivered through the one who took oath to do no harm.

 

Will Indiana celebrate Leap Year by voting in discrimination

2016-02-28

No, it’s not RFRA part 2.   You see earlier this session Indiana Legislators had the chance to add civil rights protections for LGBT. But they refused to vote on it. So that misnomer of a RFRA “fix” only affects the 11 or so municipalities that have their own Human Rights Ordinances.  And Indiana had the opportunity to enact hate crime legislation- we are one of five states not to have this. But again, our Legislators  think that   Hoosiers value people differently  than those from the other 35 states – so no vote there either.

Let’s see… what discrimination could it possibly be? Actually it is related to RFRA., as RFRA was passed on two prongs- gay weddings with cupcakes and businesses going to hell because they offered health insurance that dared to cover reproductive issues. And so RFRA allows for business to not cover, or not serve people who use fertility drugs, want vasectomies, want birth control, want options,  want to adopt into their same gender family.

And that brings us to Leap year Monday.

HB 1337 “Abortion Matters” The choice to terminate a pregnancy is legal. It is also in a trap.  As in TRAP laws- Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers.  Thee laws put restrictions  on clinics and abortion providers  but exempt  others. Hence the discrimination.

And I am disgusted that Indiana legislators both men and women, Republicans and even some  Democrats  continue to discriminate against those who hold beliefs different than theirs. Especially when it comes to reproduction. THIS bill goes beyond being AntiChoice. It actually adds to the trauma of women who have a miscarriage or receive news that the fetus has an anomaly.

This bill   criminalizes providers who perform an abortion  due to fetal anomaly, sex, or race.

The bill defines fetal tissue. (which one would think is a responsibility of the medial community).The bill mandates that  said fetal remains  from abortion OR  miscarriage – must be buried or cremated. According to the bill  fetal tissue” includes tissue, organs,or  any other part of an aborted fetus. The provider needs to partner with a funeral home. (and no funeral Directors testified either)

It was amended that  if a woman receives diagnosis of fatal fetal anomaly ( meaning die with 3 months) she would be offered perinatal hospice, and all that would be explained. Except paying for this is not addressed.

So to recap- women who have a miscarriage or stillbirth already are counseled on their choice to allow the facility to dispose of the fetal tissue/stillbirth or choose a funeral home. This bill mandates it.

Indiana Legislators believe Hoosier women and families are incapable of making a moral and  informed choice on their bodies.  They may indeed have their own values and religious beliefs, but Legislators are putting into law their values and morality. Legis as Senators Liz  Brown, Young, Holdman and Banks, along with Rep. Cox, Macon, Bates and Judy feel women need to pay – literally- to bury a miscarriage.  It is a fact miscarriages can  resemble a  large blood clot. After a women miscarries at home, a surgical procedure is needed to insure no tissue remains. And now that will need to be buried or cremated via licensed Funeral Director.

People of faith realize the added trauma this bill will cause- the threat of prosecution for providers who know their patients history and respect their legal and civil right to choose termination.

And the bill is just bad legislation. During the one hearing which allowed public testimony, questions were asked . Sen. Stoops said “we have constitutional right” to abortion, yet we have religious mandates being proposed as law”,  There are many unknowns in the bill. There are aspects of the bill that have been enacted by other states, and are currently in litigation towards Supreme Court.

Scenario: TaySachs is a disease that affects the nervous system. Babies born with this will probably “live” past 3 months, but most die by ages 3-4 yrs. They become paralyzed, cannot respond to stimulation, go blind. It  can be diagnosed In Utero . Yet with this bill a woman would be forced to carry to term.  Sen Grooms said Hoosiers have exceptional Christianity. Forcing a woman and family to carry a baby for 40 weeks that will die within months when she prefers to terminate is not the Christianity of many clergy or Hoosiers.

And so again, Indiana Legislators talk about values and the “preborn”and will mandate their own values and beliefs on all of us. They will discriminate and trap women who have a civil and legal right to their health decisions. They will ignore the woman who testified about the trauma of this bill as well as ignore people of faith who who hold differing views.

Unless they hear from us. Unless we speak up.

Follow #HB1337 on twitter, Email your legislator. Call. Educate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Civil Rights still under attack in Indiana- Especially Abortion

Abortion IS a Civil Right- even though folks *whisper* it sometimes

 

Civil rights refer to personal liberty. As in legal medical procedures. Abortion is heavily regulated in our country, and States keep trying to outlaw it. (See the movie “Trapped”  and realize how many laws have been passed).

And no state has tried more to infringe their version of religious beliefs via laws restricting Choice. You may have heard that the Indiana General Assembly is not voting on LGBT protections.  Well, not for this year. It will be back. It has been in General Assembly for the past decade in varying degrees. But there is that other civil right which is still being debated, with two laws already passing from one house to the other.

 

SB 313 passed the Senate and is now in the House Committee on Public Policy. Basically this bill criminalizes legal abortion for the reason of disability race, or sex. According to the bills, “a “lethal fetal anomaly” means a fetal condition diagnosed before birth that, if the pregnancy results in a live birth, will with reasonable certainty result in the death of he child not more than three (3) months after the child’s birth.” Yet a disability or disease where the infant will die within a few years is not considered lethal.The bill also provides for Perinatal hospice to supposedly help the woman who wanted to have a legal abortion cope with the emotions of carrying and birthing a baby that will die after 3 months or have a permanent disability.. (No funding for this provided).

So if one of the partners has a genetic marker for a disease, and despite best efforts becomes pregnant, sorry, no legal abortion for you.  So choice is taken away. Legal. Medical. Procedure.  Here is the link for the committee on Public Policy     .

 

Then there is HB 1337. Which is now in the Health and Provider Services. Included in this bill is verification of credentials and admitting privileges. (admitting Privileges usually demand X amount of admissions—MDs who perform abortions usually admit few patients). But the bill also states that     remains of abortions AND miscarriages must be interred or cremated. Most facilities have these in place already. But think about it. A woman miscarries early- less than 10 wks. Non-viable non survivable. But the law now says you need burial arrangements. Senate Committee on Health and Provider services will be voting this week.

The Indiana General Assembly and Governor Pence are quick to use buzzwords: respect, dignity, commitment to life, dedication to protecting religious freedom. RFRA passed on 2 prongs- cupcakes at gay weddings and birth control /fertility/abortion.  Please make your voices heard regarding a woman’s autonomy in choosing legal medical options. Time to stop whispering and shaming Choice.

There’s more than GLBT in Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act

 

The Religious Freedom Reformation Act is now law in Indiana.

Before March 25th there was not a law which protected individuals and businesses from refusing service to anyone who held a religious view morally offensive to their own. And now, on July 1st, there is such a law. RFRA and its “fix”.

With all eyes and ears on the recent SCOTUS decision on same sex marriage it is imperative to know the facts- RFRA affects religious views on anything and everything.

As Sue Ellen Braunlin, co-president of Indiana Religious Coalition for Reproductive Justice eloquently states ““[RFRA is] not just about wedding cakes – this very much has to do with access to non-judgmental reproductive healthcare, and that was a very big part of this case”.

Mainstream and local media miss that fact. The fact is that every argument for RFRA from Indiana Legislators and their minions included examples regarding reproduction- views on birth control. prochoice, fertility treatments, termination of pregnancy, and health insurance.

People of faith hold different views on what is “sin” or immoral. Our individual views and faith are already protected. But now on July 1st, one can choose to refuse to serve someone, or rent an apartment to someone, or hire someone simply because their belief or nonbelief in God isn’t the same as theirs.

That’s not religious freedom. That’s discrimination. Authentic religious freedom allows for individual conscience not coercion. One follows their faith path because they believe it is the right and just thing to do- not out of fear from fellow members. And one doesn’t force another to embrace their belief.

Religions have differing views on almost everything! Religions disagree on communion and baptism!

Just a few religious views, rather religious discrimination that will be protected by RFRA

  • Adoption – single parent? Biracial couple? Same sex couple?
  • Termination of pregnancy (for ANY reason- including ectopic pregnancies, rape, endangering the mother)
  • Medical procedures- fertility treatments, vasectomy, vaccinations, end of life decisions, morning after pills

So when you refuse to serve, or you are refused service due to religious views,  you could wind up in court. That’s another thing the Indiana Legislator agreed on – RFRA would result in court cases.

I doubt RFRA will make headlines though- the media and most of the big name companies /individuals that boycotted Indiana in April fell under the spell of Mike Pence and bought into the fix. After Indiana held the attention of mainstream media,  (and LBGT organizations) for almost a week when the General Assembly passed and Governor Pence signed into law the Religious Freedom RFRA. Mayhem ensued – boycotts, organizations threatening to pull their conventions, artists canceling performances, and companies talked of moving their headquarters. Even other states canceled trips to the Hoosier State.

But then Pence signed the RFRA “fix”. And they all disappeared. Except those of us long-suffering Hoosiers. We know there never was a “RFRA fix”. The protections for GLBT is only if you live in one of Indiana’s eleven municipalities with a Human Rights Ordinance regarding sexual orientation. And the majority of Hoosiers do not live with a HRO.

That and the HRO doesn’t touch all the other religious views.

The only way to end the discrimination that is now legal in Indiana is to repeal RFRA. Thankfully Democratic challengers to Governor Pence, most notably Senator Karen Tallian understands true religious freedom and it isn’t RFRA. As she posted:

     “As Governor, I would ask the same legislators who voted for             RFRA and the so-called “fix,” to once and for all repeal this                        harmful legislation. And even though our state’s defense of marriage act statute is no longer enforceable, as Governor I will also ask our legislature to remove this discriminatory language. These items should not be allowed to remain on the books as legacies to discrimination. Finally, it’s time our state adds civil rights protections for our LGBT community into state statute. I will author this bill in the 2016 Legislative Session and as Governor, issue an executive order protecting state employees against discrimination”

Yes, RFRA affects GLBT. It also affects more. It perpetuates hate. RFRA gives support for legislators to write and enact laws targeting women’s clinics and abortion providers- solely due to religious views. Physicians and those in the medical field testify to the safety of these procedures- but fear and religious fervor win out. It needs to stop.

RFRA is now law. Its time for those of us long suffering Hoosiers to change it.