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Limits on abortion advance

INDIANAPOLIS — Doctors would be required to tell women seeking an abortion in Indiana that human life begins at conception and a fetus might feel pain at or before 20 weeks under a proposal approved Wednesday by a Senate health panel.






The Senate Committee on Health and Provider Services' 7-2 vote sends the bill to the full Senate, which approved tighter informed consent legislation in recent years that didn't advance in the Democratic-controlled House. Supporters believe the bill has a better chance this year because Republicans now have a 60-40 majority in the House and a wider majority in the Senate thanks to wins during the November elections.

The bill would also require women seeking an abortion to be told in writing that the procedure had the potential risk of causing infertility and could increase the risk of breast cancer. The committee's Republicans turned down efforts by Sen. Vi Simpson, D-Bloomington, to change the bill to recognize that medical experts differ on such risks.

“We should be talking about medically accurate information if we're talking about informed consent,” Simpson said.

Current state law requires less detailed information to be given verbally to women at least 18 hours before they receive an abortion.

Republicans, who hold a majority on the health committee, also rejected arguments earlier this week that the statement on life beginning at conception should be removed because it is based on religious belief rather than medical evidence.

The bill also would require doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges in a nearby hospital. Supporters said that would improve patient safety, but opponents said it was aimed at restricting women's access to abortions.

Sue Swayze, legislative affairs director of Indiana Right to Life, said she believe the bill had a good chance of becoming law even though Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels has urged legislators to concentrate on matters such as the state budget and changes to the state education system.


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Tags: abortion, indiana
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