Bacon: Hoosiers choose life as abortion rates decline

Posted by: Jordan Wallace  | Friday, July 17, 2020

More Hoosiers are choosing life as abortion rates continue to decline in our state. According to the Indiana State Department of Health, the 2019 rate dropped by 5%, with 400 fewer abortions. Still, there is work to be done to save the unborn. As your state representative, I am and remain committed to ending abortions and protecting life.

In Indiana, we want to ensure babies lost to abortions are laid to rest with dignity and respect by having their remains buried or cremated. Nurses, physician assistants and pharmacists are protected from being required to perform or assist in abortions. In 2017, I co-sponsored Senate Enrolled Act 404 establishing The Parental Consent Law requiring written consent from one parent before anyone younger than 18 obtains an abortion. In my first year serving in the General Assembly, I co-authored House Enrolled Act 1210 blocking state agencies from partnering or funding any center that performs abortions.

For those in our state who need support, there are new resources available for Hoosier moms and their newborns. To give mothers and their babies a chance to live and grow, they need medical care throughout their pregnancy and beyond. For those who aren't sure where to turn once they become pregnant, please know there are people who are ready to help and resources available. The recently launched Maternal and Child Health MOMS Helpline connects pregnant women to early and regular prenatal care, along with a network of prenatal and child health care services within their local communities and throughout the state. Women in need can visit in.gov/isdh and click on "MOMS Helpline," or call 1-844-MCH-MOMS (1-844-624-6667) for resources.

This is just one of several tools Indiana offers to support expectant and new mothers. The perinatal navigator pilot program, established in 2019 through a law I co-authored, connects expectant mothers to prenatal care, and provides referrals for wrap-around services and home-visit programs in Indiana's highest-risk counties. With many Hoosier babies born addicted to drugs, and to help expectant mothers receive referrals to treatment programs early, they can also be screened for substance abuse. This is key because women are often more motivated to seek addiction help when they become pregnant.

Indiana has certainly made strides, but there is still work to be done. Those with questions or input on how we can continue saving the unborn, please reach out at h75@iga.in.gov or call 317-232-9815.

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State Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) represents House District 75, 
which includes portions of Warrick, Pike and Spencer counties.

Click here to download a high-resolution photo.