The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, March 09, 2006

Indiana hops on the abortion train

Judicious Democrats who decided that keeping reactionary judge Sam Alito off the Supreme Court wasn't worth raising a fuss over could possibly, maybe be waking up this week. Indiana is the third state to start chipping away at reproductive rights.

Unlike South Dakota and Mississippi's efforts, however, this one involves creationism-style "science."

A committee in the General Assembly is considering whether to endorse a new version of House Bill 1172, which deals with the written information women must receive before having an abortion. The controversial stipulation regarding the start of human life, intended to reduce the number of abortions in Indiana, was approved in the House 70-30 last month, with the support of 21 Democrats. The requirement was removed in the Senate version of the bill but came back Wednesday during a meeting of a conference committee trying to pin down a final version. (. . .)

The newest version also requires doctors to tell women the fetus may feel pain during the abortion, although Planned Parenthood of Indiana says there is no proof that pain will occur before the 20th week of pregnancy, which is when more than 90 percent of Indiana abortions occur.

"To suggest to a woman, where no science is evident, that it is possible to feel pain before 20 weeks is nothing short of harassment," said Michael McKillip, director of legislative affairs for the group, which supports abortion rights.

Also of note, the committee that came up with the bill consists of four men.