By AILEEN CHUANG,
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a new law that will
require medical providers who treat women for complications arising from
abortions to report detailed patient information to the state.
Republican governor signed the measure without fanfare Sunday, shortly
before leaving the country for a multi-day trade mission to Canada.
Supporters said the law, which takes full effect in July, will ensure
abortions are provided safely in the state. But opponents argued that it's
overly burdensome and will further stigmatize abortion, which has lower
complication rates than many other standard procedures.
Previous state efforts to restrict abortions in Indiana have been challenged
in court in recent years, some of which have been blocked from taking
Indiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which successfully
fought other abortion laws in court, said it is closely reviewing the law
and has not ruled out suing the state over it.
seems like our Legislature's dead set on passing radical abortion
restrictions every single year," ACLU Indiana director of advocacy Katie
Blair said in an interview.
anti-abortion group Indiana Right to Life, meanwhile, celebrated the signing
of the bill. In a tweet, the organization called it a "BIG weekend for LIFE
Indiana has paid the ACLU more than $290,000 in legal fees for similar cases
related to abortion legislation in recent years, according to state records.
Several cases are still pending in court, notably one challenging a 2016 law
signed by former Gov. Mike Pence that would prohibit women from getting an
abortion due to a fetus's race, sex or diagnosis of disability. The law also
requires that the identities of abortion providers be made public, that
funerals be held for fetal remains and that women undergo an ultrasound at
least 18 hours prior to undergoing the procedure.
Another law dealing with parental notification was blocked from taking
effect after Holcomb signed it last year. It would have made it challenging
for minors seeking an abortion.
year's measure will require doctors, hospitals and clinics to report to the
State Department of Health about a wide range of complications. That
includes serious medical conditions — like kidney failure, cardiac arrest,
hemorrhaging and blood clots — as well as depression, anxiety and sleep
Other provisions in the measure will require annual inspections of abortion
clinics and legalize the use of "baby boxes" in fire departments, which
allow a parent to give up an infant anonymously and without fear of penalty.
Holcomb praised the measure for doing what the other states have been doing.
"This bill does what 27 other states have done to gather information on
these procedures without restricting access to them," the governor said in a