Indiana Omnibus Abortion Bill (HB 1337)

This law was last updated on Aug 3, 2018


HB 1337 is an omnibus bill that would make numerous changes to existing abortion laws in the state of Indiana, including fetal abnormalities, informed consent situations, ultrasounds, admitting privileges, and fetal tissue donation.

Final Disposition

Current law allows for parents of a miscarried fetus to determine the final disposition of the fetal remains. This bill would give parents the right to take possession of the remains of a miscarried or aborted fetus.

If the parent of parents of a miscarried or aborted fetuses choose a location of final disposition other than the location of final disposition that is usual and customary for the health care facility, the parent or parents are responsible for the costs related to the final disposition of the fetus at the chosen location.

If the parents decide not to take possession of the fetal remains, the health care facility would be required to provide for the final disposition of the miscarried or aborted fetus, which could then only be cremated or interred.

Within ten business days after a miscarriage has occurred or an abortion has been performed, a person or health care facility would need to conduct the final disposition or ensure that the fetus is preserved until the final disposition.

The bill also states that a certification of stillbirth is not required to be issued for a final disposition of a miscarried fetus having a gestational age of less than twenty weeks.

Fetal Tissue

Under this bill any a person who knowingly transports an aborted fetus into, or out of, Indiana would be committing a Class A misdemeanor, unless the aborted fetus was transported for the sole purpose of final disposition.

A person who intentionally acquires, receives, sells, or transfers fetal tissue commits unlawful transfer of fetal tissue, a Level 5 felony.

The bill prohibits a person from altering the timing, method, or procedure used to terminate a pregnancy for the purpose of obtaining or collecting fetal tissue. A person who violates this provision commits the unlawful collection of fetal tissue, a Level 5 felony.

The bill excludes the final disposition of a miscarried or aborted fetus from the law governing the treatment of infectious or pathological waste.

Perinatal Hospice

The bill would require the state to develop a perinatal hospice brochure and post the perinatal hospice brochure on the state department’s Internet web site with the following:

  • A description of the health care and other services available from perinatal hospice;
  • Information that medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and perinatal hospice; and
  • Information regarding 211 dialing code services for accessing grief counseling.

The bill would require the state to develop and regularly update a list of all perinatal hospice providers and programs in Indiana.

The bill would require a pregnant woman that has just received a lethal fetal anomaly diagnosis to certify that she has received the following:

  • A copy of the perinatal hospice brochure; and
  • A list of the perinatal hospice providers and programs.

If a pregnant woman chooses to have an abortion rather than continuing the pregnancy in perinatal hospice care, she would need to certify in writing once again, and at least eighteen hours before the procedure, that she had been provided the required information.

Informed Consent Situations

The bill would require that informed consent be provided by the physician to the pregnant woman in a private setting, at least eighteen hours prior to the abortion.

Sex, Race, and Genetic Anomalies Abortion Ban

The bill would prohibit an abortion being performed solely due to the fetus’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, or diagnosis or potential diagnosis of the fetus having Down syndrome or any other disability.

A person who knowingly performs an abortion in violation of this provision would be subject to disciplinary actions and civil liability for wrongful death

Ultrasound Requirement

The bill would require a physician to perform an ultrasound on a pregnant woman considering an  abortion at least eighteen hours prior to the procedure and at the same time informed consent is obtained. The woman must be given the opportunity to view the images and hear the auscultation of the fetal heart tone, although she would be allowed to not view the images or listen to the audio.

Admitting Privileges

The bill would require that a written agreement between a physician performing an abortion and a physician who has written admitting privileges at a hospital in the county or contiguous county concerning the management of possible complications of the services be renewed annually.

The bill would also require the state department of health to submit copies of admitting privileges and written agreements between physicians to other hospitals in the county and contiguous counties where abortions are performed.

Reporting Requirements

The bill would require that certain forms include lines for the signature of the physician or other provider and the professional credentials of the physician or other provider.

Reports would also need to include the following additional information:

  • The post fertilization age of the fetus;
  • The manner in which the age was determined;
  • The gender of the fetus, if detectable;
  • Whether the fetus has been diagnosed with or has a potential diagnosis of having Down Syndrome or any other disability; and
  • For an early pre-viability termination, the medical indication by diagnosis code for the fetus and the mother.

Health care providers would be required to transmit the pregnancy termination form to the state department of health and separately to the department of child services if the woman having the abortion is less than 15 years of age (rather than when the woman is less than 14 years of age as provided by current law).

STATUS

The bill was signed into law by Gov. Pence (R) on March 24, 2016. The law was slated to go into effect July 1, 2016, however selected parts of the law have been blocked.


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