Governor Holcomb Signs SEA 340 and SEA 203 into Law

By St. Joseph County Right to Life | March 3, 2018, 10:19am

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — On Sunday, March 25th, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed two Senate Enrolled Acts in a decisive pro-life victory for the Hoosier state.

St. Joseph County Right to Life had been following the passage of Senate Enrolled Act 340 (SEA 340), formerly Senate Bill 340 (SB 340), through the Indiana House of Representatives and the Indiana Senate. SEA 340 requires abortion clinics, hospitals, and physicians to report complications and injuries suffered by women undergoing abortions at their facilities. The new law also tightens the process for obtaining a license to operate an abortion clinic, requires reporting to track whether a woman received an abortion due to trafficking or abuse, and expands the use of safe haven baby boxes.

Now a new law, Public Law 205, SEA 340 will also demand credibility from applicants undergoing the process for abortion facility licensing by requiring that an applicant disclose whether it has operated an abortion facility that was closed due to health or safety concerns, whether a staff or a principal member has been convicted of a felony, and whether a principal or staff member were ever employed by a facility owned or operated by the applicant that closed as a result of legal action.

In a statement published on Indiana Right to Life’s news blog, President and CEO Mike Fichter applauded Governor Holcomb’s signing of the bill, saying, “this important pro-life law ensures abortion complications don’t get swept under the rug. Hoosier women deserve better.” He went on to comment that the bill would begin to correct injustices of trafficking, abuse, and coercion which often lead to abortion. In addition, he mentioned the bill’s just demand for higher accountability from abortion providers and praised the inclusion of expansions to the Safe Haven law which can “give babies a future.”

In addition to signing SEA 340 into law, Governor Holcomb signed another bill that had also progressed through the Indiana House and Indiana Senate. SEA 203, now Public Law 203, details that anyone who knowingly or intentionally kills a fetus in any stage of development commits murder, manslaughter (voluntary or involuntary), or feticide. This bill makes exceptions for lawful abortions and for “a pregnant woman who terminates or causes the termination of her own pregnancy.” SEA 203 also “provides, with certain exceptions, 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 of St. Joseph County Right to Life, Kathleen McCarthy, gave a statement concerning the bill on Wednesday. She says 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.”

Both bills will go into effect on July 1, 2018.