Changes in Indiana Abortion Law Suggest We Are Out of the Frying Pan and Into a Fiery National Hell

6 Apr

The Indiana state House has officially passed some of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation. This is not a rallying cry that you hear at night, and it is not someone who is going to see the light – we have come to a cold and broken hallelujah. Something similar has already passed the state Senate, and the governor is going to sign this. It’s also unchallengeable at the federal level. Women of Indiana, I am so sorry. I feel like the movement failed you. I feel on some personal level like I failed you.

In Indiana:

  • Most abortions will now be illegal after 20 weeks. This is 4 weeks – one month – before most laws, as the fetus is not considered medically viable until 24 weeks. You have one month less to make one of the biggest decisions of your life. Many women don’t realize they’re pregnant for a few months – those women are now SOL. It is also important to note here, as one of Abortion Gang’s brilliant MDs pointed out, that 20 weeks is often when women find out their fetus – in many cases, often a child they wanted and planned for who would be a sibling to other children – “has a devastating diagnosis, like anencephaly (no brain).” Yes, you’re reading this correctly – in Indiana, if you find out you are carrying a fetus with no brain, you WILL bring that fetus to term and give birth to it, knowing it will never survive, and you WILL suffer through months of the knowledge that what you are carrying inside you will never be your child, unless you have the time and the resources to travel to another state in the union for as long as we still HAVE states in the union where access to the medical care women need is legal.
  • Abortion providers are now obligated to lie to patients, including telling them that abortion carries an increased risk of breast cancer. One of the co-sponsors of the bill objected to this language, saying that she knows this is flat-out untrue. It’s being written into law anyway.
  • “The House also voted against an amendment by Rep. Gail Riecken, D-Evansville, that would have exempted women who became pregnant through rape or incest, or women whose pregnancy threatens their life or could cause serious and irreversible physical harm.” A Republican fought that language because he felt it, “created ‘a giant loophole’ because a woman might ‘simply say (she’d) been raped.'”

That last objection left one member of the House who had worked for six years as a sex crimes investigator in tears, trying to explain to the other members – most of whom are men – that “women don’t make this up.” And I feel for her. I want to cry to.

I tend to cling to hope, to the small rays of sunshine that say we are making progress or, at least, not losing ground at a rapid pace. I can’t find hope here. I can’t draw any conclusions from this bill except that: our elected officials do not trust women/female-bodied individuals and do not believe we are remotely capable of making vital medical decisions for ourselves; women’s lives and the lives of female-bodied individuals are thought of as so disposable that when they are at risk vital medical care will be denied in the name of obscure moral judgments that often prove totally hypocritical; and our every word and claim to experiences can be called into question at any time.

The part of me that’s in tears just wants to quietly say, “I want my country back.” But there is a better part of me I would like to call forth now, and that part says, “Fuck you. Watch out. Because we are coming for our country, and when we take it back, we will have no mercy.”

And as a great and terrible being once said, “As it is written, so shall it be.”


14 Responses to “Changes in Indiana Abortion Law Suggest We Are Out of the Frying Pan and Into a Fiery National Hell”

  1. Molly April 6, 2011 at 1:00 pm #

    I was born and raised in Indiana and have lived here most of my life. I have never been more ashamed of my state or felt more alienated than I have in the last few weeks, with the double attack of anti-choice and anti-marriage equality legislation. I really don’t like living here anymore.

  2. Kaitlyn April 6, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    My BFF is from Indiana and I have a lot of love invested there. I don’t think Indiana is anyway a cause, just a symptom of so many greater problems. Grab your towel and remember, don’t panic! I hope things like this remind us to work harder, not leave us wanting to give up. I can’t say I find inspiration every day but on the days I don’t, I find looking at cute pictures of kittens gets me right back on track – tomorrow.

  3. Serena April 6, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    Although Arizona is passing abortion restrictions left and right, they at least haven’t taken it to this level (yet).

  4. lyahdan April 6, 2011 at 2:57 pm #

    My heart weeps for the women of Indiana.

    Surely this could be challenged on the breast cancer bit alone in some fashion? How is it legal to give medically false information?

  5. Jessica April 6, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

    Just a couple of questions, because I feel woefully uninformed about this new legislation…
    1) How is it unchallengeable at the federal level? AFAIK there have been no 20-week bans that have been challenged, outside of Nebraska’s…
    2) Is there an exemption for women experiencing a pregnancy that threatens their life? Did I read that correctly? Because if so…holy fuck.

  6. One in One Thousand April 6, 2011 at 6:26 pm #


    I suggest making an honorary donation to Planned Parenthood, NARAL or another pro-choice organization on behalf of the author of the bill, Rep. Eric Turner R-Cicero.

    Rep. Turner’s address, needed for the Thank You card he will receive for his donation:

    5541 S. Harmon St., Marion, IN 46953

    Planned Parenthood’s honorary giving page:

    NARAL’s donation page:

  7. One in One Thousand April 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

    Oops! Should have mentioned that Planned Parenthood Indiana has a simple online donation page as well with space for an honorary dedication and a Thank You ready to send off to Rep. Turner as well.

  8. One in One Thousand April 6, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    This is terrible for the women of Indiana. The other restrictions on various state house floors are stomach-turning as well.

    Personally, I’m making a donation to Planned Parenthood Indiana on behalf of Rep. Eric Turner, the author of the bill. Hopefully a little bit of financial support can help the women of Indiana women while reminding Rep. Turner that people support women’s reproductive rights.

  9. elburto April 9, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    I’m not an American so this whole thing is incredibly confusing, how the hell is this not unlawful or even flat-out illegal? How can half of your nation’s citizenry be targeted for such punitive actions based on their internal organs? It really horrifies me, I’m terrified for my sisters in the US because from the outside it seems like you’re trapped in a fundamentalist dystopia. What’s worse is that there are international charities and aid organisations that exist to help ensure that women living under oppressive regimes are not denied basic human rights, but who’s looking out for American women? It’s worrying.

  10. Harold Hecuba April 28, 2011 at 3:57 am #

    Interestingly, many moderates have designated a time frame around that 20-week window as a good point to draw the “cut-off” line for the abortion option. Even Carl Sagan(!) suggested in a book written 4-5 years after the Roe v. Wade decision that up-to-20-weeks might be an acceptable compromise. He felt that a child’s neocortex has reached a fairly sophisticated level of development that makes late-term abortion difficult to justify morally. He did not, in any way, CONDONE abortion as an acceptable practice, but wanted to present a compromise that might ease the social tensions on both sides of the issue.
    Not to be the ogre here, but some women DO falsely claim to have been raped when it suits them. The links between breast cancer and abortion have not been conclusively disproven. A comparable bill passed in Nebraska about a year ago and it is unlikely that this trend will stop now.
    I will be honest and share my surprise at the outrage of some of the commenters. Do you really think that past generations of feminists would have expected or, in some cases, even CONDONED outright abortion on demand? That abortion at ANY stage in a pregnancy would be available w/o limits or even opposition? That even a procedure like partial birth would be legal and widely-performed? That taxpayers, including those who consider abortion unethical, would be obliged to pay for such procedures?
    Not every lesson that we face in life is part of an ENJOYABLE learning process, but …you can’t always get everything that you want.

  11. Kaitlyn April 28, 2011 at 10:20 am #

    Harold, I am afraid most of the moderates *I* know have done nothing of the kind. Who are these “moderates” of which you speak? And who decides that they are moderate? What makes them moderate? I consider a moderate in the reproductive justice movement someone who puts the needs of the pregnant person first – anything without an exception for rape, incest and the life of the person carrying the fetus is extreme. While I appreciate Carl Sagan’s work, a white male scientist looking to communicate with aliens who does not “condone” abortion is probably not the best example of reproductive justice “moderates.” If you’re thinking of him as a more mainstream moderate, again, I point to the basic exemptions I feel one needs to make to qualify.

    I do not know what generations of feminists before me would have thought about access, but I am part of a movement of people that, however we may feel personally, believe as a matter of principle that we cannot judge why individuals choose to have an abortion or when, and that every line drawn in the sand simply becomes another battleground for the opposition. Abortions need to be safe, legal and accessible – period.

    The link between breast cancer and abortion HAS been conclusively disproven. Unfortunately, we live in an age where once lies and misinformation exist, they seem always to raise a question. A first trimester abortion is a relatively simply procedure, and 85% of the abortions in the country occur in the first trimester. Of those that do not, however, something is usually severely wrong with the fetus, or it is dangerous for the person carrying the fetus to bring it to term. 20-week limits hurt some of the people who need access the most.

    I absolutely don’t believe you mean to be an ogre, but calling into questions the choices a person makes when faced with an unwanted pregnancy does, unfortunately, sound a little ignorant and misogynistic. I take rape reporting extremely seriously, and it is not a process I believe any sane person would undergo lightly. Given that, if states have driven women to undergoing a doubly invasive process – first rape reporting, then wait periods, sonograms etc – to obtain abortions, and they are willing to undergo them out of desperation, we need to look at what’s wrong with the state, not women.

  12. Steph L April 28, 2011 at 10:56 am #

    Its around or after 20 weeks that many serious birth defects are found. And fetal pain has not been conclusively documented until approximately a few weeks after. Women’s health is not compromisable.

    Some people cheat on welfare. I guess we should derail the whole system there too.

    There is no breast cancer/abortion link. That was long disproven and its really a pathetic joke that antis keep pushing it.

    I wish I could say I was suprised at your sheer ignorance of so many issues but I’m really not. Its sadly typical of antis.

    That abortion at ANY stage in a pregnancy would be available w/o limits or even opposition?
    -Less thatn 1% of abortion take place in the third trimester. Its not a lightly made decision.

    That even a procedure like partial birth would be legal and widely-performed?
    -Still makes up less than 1% of abortions. And the fake term “partial birth abortion” was purely invented by antis.

    That taxpayers, including those who consider abortion unethical, would be obliged to pay for such procedures?
    -Check the Hyde amendment. Public funds do not go to abortions.

    Not every lesson that we face in life is part of an ENJOYABLE learning process, but …you can’t always get everything that you want.
    -You would do good to learn from your own quote there.

  13. Steph L April 28, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    Also, while I enjoy Carl Sagan in regards to the cosmos, he is not a medical doctor and I don’t see why his opinion would matter here. I don’t go to the Air and Space museum to get health care.


  1. Linkspam (4/7/11) « The Rambling Feminist - April 7, 2011

    […] Changes in Indiana Abortion Law Suggest We Are Out of the Frying Pan and Into a Fiery National Hell || Abortion Gang […]

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