The Indiana House voted 69-25 Thursday for a bill that allows health care providers to abstain from performing or assisting with an abortion because of any ethical, moral or religious objections.
Senate Bill 201, authored by Sen. Liz Brown, R-Fort Wayne, adds nurses, physician assistants, and pharmacists to current law which says physicians and their employees can decline to participate in abortions.
SB 201 also includes a prohibition on the requirement that certain providers prescribe, administer, or dispense a drug that is capable of inducing an abortion.
The bill was voted on in the Indiana Senate on Feb. 19 and passed 39-1. It goes back to the Senate. If it concurs with the changes made in the House, it goes to Gov. Eric Holcomb for his consideration.
Among those voting in opposition to SB 201 was Rep. Chris Chyung, D-Dyer, who voiced his concerns on the fairness of the bill and the necessity of an emergency exception rule.
“This bill does not have an emergency exception and would hang out to dry women who are victims of rape or incest or their lives are in immediate danger,” he said.
An emergency exception would allow patients to receive drugs that are used for abortions in cases that are life threatening.
“We, the House of Representatives, should not be in the business of punishing rape victims in my opinion. Yet this bill as written would allow this to happen,” said Chyung. “As a man weighing in on this issue, I fully recognize that my opinion means far less than any woman, so I would encourage my male colleagues to consider the same.”