State, National, and International Legislation and Committees

State Legislation

SEA 340

This law, signed by Governor Holcomb on March 25, 2018, makes various changes to the abortion law concerning abortion clinic license applications, abortion clinic inspections, abortion inducing drugs, abortion complications, the provision of information to a woman seeking an abortion, and the collection of data by the state department of health. This ensures that abortion clinics that are seeking to operate have been effectively screened, and that if complications occur during abortions, important information about the woman can be passed on to subsequent physicians treating the woman. It also helps the state gather information about the reasons for a woman choosing abortion in an attempt to help women who are abused or trafficked.

This law also specifies that it is a defense to a claim of neglect of a dependent if an individual left a child in a newborn safety device that is located at a fire department, including a volunteer fire department, that meets specified requirements. It provides civil immunity for a fire department that operates a newborn safety device for an act or omission relating to the device if the device meets specified requirements, and unless the act or omission constitutes gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.

The legislation will go into effect on July 1, 2018.

SEA 203

Also signed into law on March 25, 2018, SEA 203 clarifies that crimes resulting in the loss of a fetus may be counted as murder, voluntary or involuntary manslaughter, or feticide. It also specifies that these crimes may be committed against a fetus in any stage of development.

 

It does make exceptions for the offenses, saying that the crimes would not apply to the loss of a fetal human in the cases of lawfully performed abortion, or if committed by a pregnant woman with respect to a fetus carried by the woman. It provides that a person who commits a felony that causes the termination of a pregnancy may receive an additional sentence of six to 20 years.

Executive Director, Kathleen McCarthy, states that "to rightfully recognize an unborn child's humanity in the case of murder, manslaughter and feticide at any stage of fetal development sets the stage for a just society where all humans have rights. We at St. Joseph County Right to Life thank Governor Eric Holcomb for doing the right thing and signing SEA 203. To see such progress makes me believe there is hope for the greatest good in protecting vulnerable lives as one nation under God.”

This law will also go into effect on July 1, 2018.

SEA 404 and SEA 246

Governor Eric Holcomb signed two pro-life bills into law April 2017.

 

SEA 404 put important measures in place to protect minor girls, increase parental rights, and help victims of sex trafficking.

On June 28, Judge Sarah Evans Barker issued a preliminary injunction against portions of Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 404. SEA 404, designed to protect minor girls, increase parental rights, and aid victims of sex trafficking, was signed and passed by Governor Eric Holcomb last month.

IN/KY Planned Parenthood brought an injunction against the section of the new law that requires girls under 18 to get parental consent or a judge's permission to get an abortion. Judge Barker ruled in favor of PP's injunction, despite the parental rights law being passed by a majority of state legislators.

Attorney General Curtis Hill filed an appeal against the injunction in July 2017. We will update this section with news about SEA 404 as it unfolds.

 

SEA 246 expands the Safe Haven law by allowing the installation of baby safes at designated sites. This makes it possible for women who feel like they have no other option to surrender newborns anonymously in temperature controlled units that alert emergency personnel immediately.

National Legislation

Conscience Protection Act 2017

Bishop Rhoades and other leaders are urging all to take action now on the Conscience Protection Act by contacting legislators here.

 

Human Life Action describes the Conscience Protection Act as follows:

 

The Conscience Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 644) has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Diane Black (R-TN) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and in the Senate (S. 301) by Sen. James Lankford (R-OK). This much-needed, common-sense legislation will clarify federal law and ensure that those who provide health care and health coverage can continue to do so without being forced by government to help destroy innocent unborn children. Please take a moment to let your representatives in Congress know that we expect them to protect our most cherished liberties.

The bill was introduced in the House on January 24, 2017, and was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce the same day. No further actions have been taken on the bill in the House.

The bill was introduced in the Senate on February 3, 2017, was read twice, and was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. No further actions have been taken on the bill in the Senate.

 

On July 13, 2016, the House passed an identical bill of the same name (S. 304), but it was never enacted into law. Therefore, we must continue to advocate for conscience protection for those who choose not to participate in abortion and remain hopeful that with a change in the White House our efforts will meet with success this year.


SJCRTL strongly supports the Conscience Protection Act, advocating that doctors and nurses who believe abortion, euthanasia, and other "procedures" are not morally acceptable should not be forced to participate. Under new leadership, we have high hopes for a positive outcome when it comes to protecting medical professionals from being forced to perform procedures that violate their deeply held convictions.

Better Care (Reconciliation) Act 2017

The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) is the new Republican administration's reformation of President Obama's Affordable Care Act. While the BCRA is not perfect, it does contain strong pro-life protections, including re-directing Planned Parenthood’s (the nation's largest abortion provider) taxpayer funding to community health centers by making Planned Parenthood ineligible to participate in the Medicaid program. The House bill also applies the Hyde amendment’s abortion funding restrictions to health insurance plans offered through government systems.

The reconciliation processes of changing a healthcare system are long and complicated. As of July 2017, an agreement on BCRA has not been reached. It is unlikely, during this process, that all pro-life measures will remain in the bill as it becomes law. However, whatever pro-life measures are kept will make a difference in protecting life.

It is incredibly important that legislators do not cave under pressure and give up on pro-life measures within BCRA. Please visit this petition to encourage your senators to continue to love and protect life. The House of Representatives already passed their version of the healthcare bill containing the pro-life measures.

Legislative Committees

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International Legislation

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©2018 St. Joseph County Right to Life, Inc.