Documenting problems ‘is the law, not a suggestion’
An Indiana abortion complications reporting law that was blocked by a federal judge in 2018 has finally taken effect after three years, marking a major pro-life victory in the state.
Senate Enrolled Act No. 340 was signed into law in 2018 and requires doctors to report complications arising from abortions. Conditions that could trigger the reporting requirements include infections, uterine perforations, depression and anxiety, failed abortion, and preterm labor, among others. Failure to report these complications could result in a misdemeanor, 180 days in jail, and a $1,000 fine.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit voted 2-1 in September to uphold the law on the heels of being struck down by a U.S. District Court Judge. The law was first challenged and subsequently blocked by a federal judge in 2018 following a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood arguing that the list of complications was “unconstitutionally vague.” After several challenges, the court has now cleared Indiana officials to begin enforcing the law.
Indiana Right to Life President and CEO Mike Fichter applauded the court’s decision, noting that it was “long overdue” and that the organization would work to ensure that every abortion facility in the state complies with the law.
“It is extremely telling that abortion businesses fought to shield these complications from being reported,” he stated. Now that these reporting requirements go into effect, any abortion business refusing to comply must be denied a license renewal according to the new licensing law passed in the 2021 Indiana legislature.”
He continued, “Full compliance with the complications reporting law must be one of the many areas subject to thorough state inspections of every licensed abortion business. Complications reporting is the law, not a suggestion.”
Abortion advocates often tout abortion as a “safe” procedure. But, as Live Action News has repeatedly reported, making abortion legal hasn’t made it safe, and medical misconduct is widespread. In one example, Indiana abortionist Ulrich Klopfer came under fire for habitually submitting abortion reports late and with false or missing information, showing complete disregard for women’s health. He also failed to report cases of rape and abuse. Later, in 2019, Klopfer shocked the nation when the bodies of over 2,000 babies were found in his home, causing great distress to the women who obtained abortions from Klopfer.
Abortion complications reporting is seriously lacking in the United States. According to the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, only about half of all states (28) currently require abortion providers to report complications from abortions.
While the new law taking effect marks a major step forward in protecting mothers and their unborn children, as well as holding abortionists accountable, the abortion battle is far from over in Indiana. A recent report from the Indiana Department of Health showed an increase in the number of abortions performed in the state, with 119 more children killed by abortion in 2020 than in 2019.
However, Indiana officials are continuing the fight for the life — both in the state and across the country. Attorney General Todd Rokita, who defended the abortion complications reporting requirement, is leading a 20-state coalition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a lawsuit challenging the Texas law that prohibits abortion when doctors can detect a fetal heartbeat.
“We will stay relentless in demanding that President Biden and Attorney General Garland respect states’ authority to pass our own laws without being dragged improperly into federal court,” Attorney General Rokita said. “And in Indiana, we will continue striving to protect the lives of the unborn and the health of women.”
[Editor’s note: This story originally was published by Live Action News.]