Bacon: Reporting health concerns, human trafficking at abortion clinics

Posted by: Hannah Carlock  | Thursday, April 13, 2017 11:15 am

As the legislative session begins to wrap up, several bills have been signed into law by the governor. A number of bills I authored are still moving through the process and could soon become law, including a proposal addressing some abortion matters.

Senate Bill 404 now contains language establishing guidelines on abortion clinics. These additional guidelines currently placed on medical facilities would apply to abortion clinics, and include procedures on how to monitor patients after anesthesia and follow-up care for those with complications.

All of these guidelines are to ensure any clinic providing health care to patients follows the most up-to-date rules and medical standards. If a clinic is found to be in violation upon an inspection, the Indiana State Department of Health would require the clinic to adopt a plan of correction. The department will also ensure the corrections are made, and if they are not, the department would take disciplinary action on the facility. Again, these guidelines will foster a healthy environment for every patient.

Indiana’s informed consent and anti-human trafficking laws work to prevent women from being coerced into abortions. It’s also important to use clinics as a point of contact to identify sexual assault victims. Language from my bill strengthens these efforts. For example, the Senate bill now requires abortion clinic staff be trained annually to identify victims of rape and sex trafficking. Noticing these signs is important so we can get the victim the assistance they need and bring abusers to justice. The bill requires ISDH to provide a hotline phone number to provide assistance to women in these awful situations. Along this line, a provision from my bill would also require abortion clinics to provide informed consent brochures in English, Spanish and a third language approved by ISDH.

Another addition from my bill concerns licensing abortion clinics based on the specific services they provide. Three distinct licenses would be created: one to perform only surgical abortions; another to provide only drug-inducing abortions; and a combined license to perform both types of abortions. Different types of clinics should have difference licensure categories and procedures. Nonetheless, under this proposal every licensed clinic must abide by the guidelines above and report to the Indiana Department of Child Services if any abortion performed on a minor 16 years old or younger.

My goal is to ensure the health and safety of all Hoosier women treated at an abortion clinic. If a woman does seek the procedure, these facilities must uphold the highest standards and follow the law.

Indiana has some of the strongest pro-life policies and laws in the country. Between 2007 and 2015, the number of abortions in Indiana decreased by 27 percent. Furthermore, Indiana’s abortion rate has declined consistently since 2000.

As always, please contact me with questions or input at 317-232-9833 or by email at h75@iga.in.gov. I appreciate hearing from you in order to better represent our district. Stay up-to-date with the work being done at the Statehouse by signing up to receive my email updates at www.in.gov/h75.

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 State Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) represents House District 75,

which includes portions of Warrick, Pike and Spencer counties.

A high-resolution photo of Bacon can be downloaded by clicking here.