INDIANAPOLIS (BP) — Indiana now numbers among the majority of states that require annual inspections of abortion centers and classify the murder of an unborn baby as homicide.
Gov. Eric Holcomb signed the two pieces of pro-life legislation last week, drawing approval from pro-life advocates and ire from abortion supporters. The first bill expands the state’s safe haven law, establishes annual inspections for abortion centers — something already required in 27 other states — and mandates all medical doctors report treatment they give women for complications due to abortion, including infections and anxiety.
Rep. Sue Errington, a Democrat, criticized the bill: “It seems to me that this is an attempt to make this appear like a dangerous procedure, and it’s not.”
But pro-life advocates point to abortion centers’ frequent violations of health and safety standards as proof they need oversight.
Americans United for Life said in a statement it is “thrilled” Holcomb signed the bill into law. The group’s model legislation, the Abortion Reporting Act, influenced Indiana’s bill, which ensures “complete and reliable data on the risks of abortion is available to women, the medical community, and the general public,” the group wrote.
Indiana Right to Life president Mike Fichter also applauded the governor’s signature: “This important pro-life law ensures abortion complications don’t get swept under the rug. Hoosier women deserve better.”
The second bill Holcomb signed last week establishes a fetal homicide law: Anyone who kills an unborn baby can face murder charges, regardless of the baby’s gestational age. The previous law only protected babies who had reached the point of viability.
Although considered a pro-life measure, the law does not apply to abortion.
In addition to Indiana, 37 other states have fetal homicide laws. Three of those only factor the baby’s death into the charges of bodily injury to the mother. That includes Colorado, where in 2016 a jury convicted a woman of attempted murder after she attacked a pregnant woman and cut out her unborn baby in hopes of passing it off as her own. The baby did not survive.
Twelve states and the District of Columbia have no laws regarding fetal homicide.