Indiana decides when life begins

Here’s a hint: It starts with “con” and ends with “ception.” (And, sadly, it’s not “contraception.”)
Indiana is considering legislation that would require abortion providers to tell women that life begins at conception.
Even though the state already has mandatory pre-abortion counseling (and a slew of other abortion restrictions), a new law would require women seeking abortions to be informed in writing “that human life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm.”
Huh? Haven’t they heard that South Dakota (surprise, surprise) aready tried this? A federal judge prevented the law from taking effect.
Under the Indiana law, doctors would also have to notify women that the fetus may feel pain during an abortion and an anesthetic, which may or may not be paid for by insurance, could be used on the fetus if the woman is at least 20 weeks along.
So, what subjective statement will the state of Indiana attempt to legislate next? “Adam and Eve – not Adam and Steve,” “Abstinence makes the heart grow fonder,” or maybe just “Jesus died for your sins.”
Thanks to Madeline for the link (via Focus on the Family).

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7 Comments

  1. feministe
    Posted January 31, 2006 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    Get me out of here. Stat.
    My question is what the hell this means:
    “HB 1247, introduced by Rep. Peggy Welch, D-Bloomington, would let people sue over the death of a fetus that had achieved viability, meaning it had reached a point where it could live outside the womb. Current Indiana law says causing the death of a viable fetus is a crime but not a wrongful death.
    The bill would exempt women who undergo abortion and doctors. The committee members who were present, including three Democrats, voted unanimously, 7-0, in favor of the legislation.”
    So who gets sued?

  2. Posted January 31, 2006 at 2:54 pm | Permalink


    Huh? Haven’t they heard that South Dakota (surprise, surprise) aready tried this? A federal judge prevented the law from taking effect.

    Yes, but that was under the supervision of the old supreme court. So it begins…
    Goddamn centrist democrats.

  3. Posted January 31, 2006 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    I think the person who gets sued is the person who caused a woman to have a miscarriage. (Maybe by causing a car accident, for example.) Or the person who caused the death of a pregnant woman and her child.
    These people could have been sued anyway, but I am guessing (without actually having read the proposed bill) that the legislation provides that their could be damages for the fetus’s loss of life, as opposed to just damages for the emotional and physical harm to the woman.

  4. Thomas
    Posted January 31, 2006 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Anybody in Indiana have a religious belief that life begins at a time other than conception? That sounds to me like an Establishment Clause claim. Like Jessica said, what’s next; “Jesus died for your sins”?

  5. Posted January 31, 2006 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    “HB 1247, introduced by Rep. Peggy Welch, D-Bloomington, would let people sue over the death of a fetus that had achieved viability, meaning it had reached a point where it could live outside the womb.
    Why is it so hard for these people to understand a simple concept: viability in no way equals live birth/neonate.
    For example, I’m not sure what EGA is proclaimed to be the age of viability by Indiana politicians, but let’s assume it’s something like 24 wks. The probability of neonatal death before 26 wks is over 75%.* [Not to mention the essential fact that, when it comes to preterm births, neonatal survival depends on geography.]
    I mean, most fertilized eggs could live outside the womb, eventually, but the majority are spontaneously aborted.
    *Williams 21ed, p693

  6. Posted January 31, 2006 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    Doctors should have to tell you if the procedure you’re about to undergo is /dangerous/, but “life begins at conception” is an opinion. Could you imagine this kind of legislation being passed for other kinds of doctors? What if your plastic surgeon first had to tell you “your old nose really doesn’t look that bad”?

  7. Thomas
    Posted February 1, 2006 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Marie, it’s clearly an opinion, but Jessica had it right, above: it’s a religious opinion. Does anyone know of a religious sect that clearly disagrees? It’s not an academic question; the right person could bring a lawsuit.

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