Indiana Bill Regarding Parental Consent (SB 404)
This law was last updated on Jul 19, 2017
**portions of this law have been blocked by court order**
SB 404 would prohibit a physician from performing an abortion on an unemancipated minor without first obtaining written consent from a parent or legal guardian of the minor.
Specifically, the bill would require:
- the written consent of a parent, legal guardian, or custodian of the unemancipated minor;
- government issued proof of identification of the parent, legal guardian, or custodian; and
- some evidence that establishes that the parent or legal guardian is the lawful parent or legal guardian of the unemancipated pregnant patient.
The physician would be required to keep records of the required documents for at least seven years.
SB 404 would require a physician who receives written consent for an unemancipated pregnant individual to have an abortion to execute an affidavit for inclusion in the unemancipated pregnant individual’s medical record.
The bill would provide that a parent or guardian of a pregnant minor is an interested party with respect to a petition to waive the parental consent requirement and is entitled to notice of any hearing on the petition and an opportunity to submit evidence to the court.
The bill would allow the juvenile court to waive the parental consent requirement if they find that an abortion would be in the minor’s best interests.
SB 404 would prohibit a person from knowingly or intentionally aiding or assisting an unemancipated pregnant patient in obtaining an abortion without the consent.
If the state or an agency of the state has wardship or guardianship of an unemancipated pregnant minor, the state or agency of the state may not consent to an abortion unless the abortion is necessary to avert the pregnant minor’s death or a substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant minor.
The bill would require a health-care provider to transmit the pregnancy termination form to the state department of health and separately to the department of child services if the individual having the abortion is less than 16 years of age (rather than if the individual is less than 14 years of age as provided by current law).
The state department would also be required to notify and provide a copy of the form to the department of child services when it has received a form notifying the state department that an individual less than 16 years of age had an abortion.
Birthing Centers and Abortion Clinics
The bill would require the state department to adopt the following additional rules concerning birthing centers and abortion clinics:
- Procedures to monitor patients after the administration of anesthesia;
- Procedures to provide follow-up care for patient complications;
- Provision of informed consent brochures, in English, Spanish, and a third language, inside abortion clinics;
- Provision of a hotline number that provides assistance for patients who are coerced into abortion or victims of sex trafficking;
- Annual training by law enforcement on identifying individuals who are coerced into abortion or victims of sex trafficking; and
- Policies requiring all forms that require a patient signature to be stored in the patient’s medical record.
The state department would be required to prescribe procedures for implementing a plan of correction to address any violations of this law, and to implement a system to follow if such facilities fail to comply.
The state department would be required to adopt separate rules for abortion clinics that perform only surgical abortions, clinics that perform abortions only through the provision of an abortion inducing drug, and establish procedures regarding the issuance of licenses to abortion clinics that:
- perform only surgical abortions;
- perform abortions only through the provision of an abortion inducing drug; or
- perform both.
The bill would raise the penalty for the failure to file the required forms regarding performed abortions from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor.
A physician who performs an abortion on a pregnant patient less than 16 years of age and fails to transmit the pregnancy termination form to the state department would be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor.
This bill provides that a practitioner is subject to disciplinary sanctions for failure to report suspected sexual trafficking or child abuse.
The bill would require the medical licensing board to revoke a physician’s license if the physician:
- negligently failed to transmit a form regarding an abortion performed on a female who is less than 15 years of age; and
- performed an abortion in violation of state law.
Similar to SB 392, which failed to pass in 2016.
Signed into law by Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) on April 25, 2017.
A district court blocked portions of this law. (See Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky v. Commissioner of Indiana State Department of Health (2017).)