Indiana’s Arrogant Legislature

Here we go again.

Indiana’s legislature–more accurately, its Republican Super-Majority (courtesy of gerrymandering)–has a habit of making decisions it is unequipped to make. In the past,  friends who are schoolteachers have seethed as lawmakers who never spent a day in a classroom prescribed the precise methods they should use to teach reading.

Now, lawmakers propose to tell medical doctors what methods they can and cannot use to terminate a pregnancy.

HB 1211 would ban the most common method used in second trimester abortions, usually called “D and E” for dilation and evacuation. The only alternative to D and E, which is generally considered the safest and most medically-appropriate way to terminate a second-trimester pregnancy, is induction, which requires a woman to go through labor. It must be done in a hospital-like setting, is far more expensive–and has a higher risk of complications than D and E.

Also, most hospitals don’t offer the procedure.

Now, you might be asking yourself, why would the sponsors and proponents of this bill think they–and not the woman’s medical doctor–should make this sort of decision? Why would they only allow second-trimester abortions to be performed using a procedure that is both more painful and more risky?

You know why. As Planned Parenthood points out, passage of HB 1211 would effectively end second trimester abortions in Indiana.

What is particularly ironic, previous legislative measures that have made it difficult for women to obtain safe, legal abortions are the reason for many of the delays that push the procedure into the second trimester: waiting periods, fewer clinics with longer waits for appointments and other barriers erected by lawmakers who want us to think they know more than medical professionals do, and who believe they are entitled to have their religious dogma become the law of the state.

Recent polls suggest that 70% of Americans want to keep Roe v. Wade as the law of the land. Thanks to the Electoral College, Donald Trump has been able to put right-wing judges on the Federal Bench, up to and including the Supreme Court, to ensure that the preferences of that significant majority won’t count for much. Until Roe goes, Indiana’s paternalistic legislature can’t ban abortions outright, but it continually tries to achieve that result by subterfuge. HB 1211 is just one example.

So let’s see: this bill would insert government between a woman and her doctor;  impose the religious beliefs of certain Christian denominations on nonbelievers and adherents of the many religions and denominations that allow abortion; and in the rare cases where a doctor and hospital are willing to use induction, subject the woman to unnecessary pain and an elevated risk of complications.

Nicely done, “Christian” warriors.

HB 1211 has been scheduled to be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wed. March 27th at 9 am.

Sen. Randall Head is the chair of the committee and he has the power to stop this bill.

I hope everyone who finds this cynical measure appalling will call Senator Head and ask him to kill this travesty of a bill.

You might also remind him and other “limited government” Republicans –the guys who don’t think government belongs in their boardrooms–that government also doesn’t belong in a woman’s uterus.

The issue really isn’t abortion–it’s who gets to make the decision. And the answer  to that question shouldn’t be government.


  1. If our government is so powerful it can say you may NOT have a procedure,
    it is powerful enough to say you MUST have a procedure
    See China policy
    This is very bad law
    Will IN Women notice or care?
    Stay tuned

  2. The only way to successfully end, or dramatically reduce, abortions is to make them unnecessary. Education, birth control, openly talking about their use and making it culturally unacceptable among men & women to NOT use b/c . ANy other method is a waste of air.

  3. Jeff Swett, you ignored the medical complications that occur during a pregnancy that can force a pregnant woman and her doctor to make a choice between saving her life or allowing a pregnancy to continue.

  4. The third full year of ACA enrollment there were the fewest abortions performed in the US. Free birth control made this possible. But our legislators want to eliminate birth control as well. This is about preserving the patriarchy pure and simple

  5. Limitations on clinics.
    Waiting periods
    Outlawed procedures
    Fewer clinics
    Limited access to contraception
    Teaching abstinence only in high schools
    All of the above are directed at women. Why don’t we attempt to find new ways to inconvenience the other party to the sex act? All insurance plans pay for Viagra, some don’t cover contraception for women. It might be time to bring back “Lysistrata” as a means to pass an ERA.

  6. Aside from the well-known arguments in favor of Roe, there is another such argument in favor of who gets to call the shots, i.e., the woman and medical science, or a gerrymandered supermajority of insurance agents and other uninformed people in the legislature who are proceeding as though abortion is proscribed by scripture (it is unmentioned), and it is this: If legislatures can dictate to doctors and pregnant women, what’s next? Shall they also dictate how a lawyer and client may interact? Engineers? Clergy and penitent? Where does or can this end?
    Are in any event gerrymandered legislatures representative of the public will? Are such legislatures the new Big Brother who have seized power due to gerrymandering and a judiciary who pretend they are following the will of the people and advice of professionals through such political manipulation of the vote by arbitrary geographical lines drawn to ensure undemocratic results?

    State legislatures, and especially those who have political supermajorities, have been chipping away at Roe since the Supreme Court decided it, and in some states Roe has been effectively nullified, but those on both sides are fearful of a relook at Roe given the uncertain count of a Trump-enhanced judiciary. So now what? Are supermajorities going to tell me what I can discuss with my doctor in re my lung cancer which, like a stillborn, may also be life-threatening? Where does this end, Big Brother? Are there any limits to the arrogance of power?

    To do > elect those who favor the expansion of a right to privacy (which is not set out in the Constitution per se but one which the Supreme Court has in past decisions impliedly relied upon) by having the 50% who aren’t voting vote in overturning the gerrymander and thus endorse the privacy and medical advice of professionals for pregnant women and, perhaps, that of lawyer-client, clergy-penitent et al. down the road who may become targets of Big Brother. When? 2020, and meanwhile, supporting those groups and organizations now working to reverse gerrymandering and its cancerous effects on our democracy.

  7. Let’s take note that, similarly, vaccine mandates insert government between a person and their doctor. They supersede by force the important ethical standard of informed consent.

  8. It’s not just Indiana, folks. This ongoing lie about small government and government not interfering in peoples’ lives is all part of the Republican/Libertarian agenda. It’s basically the mushroom analogy: Keep ’em in the dark (education) and feed them bullshit (churches).

    When I lived and taught science in Texas, this sort of governmental pressure on curriculum and women’s rights went on all the time. Since Texas’ legislature only meets every other year, the fights went on for decades. Since Texas’ entire legislature and government appointed offices are vastly Republican majority, you see the same thing there that this blog mentions today.

    Where does this come from? Read George Lakoff’s disturbing book, “Don’t Think of an Elephant”. In it, he describes precisely the agenda and meme library for Republicanism and Republicans. It’s basically the “strong father” model applied to all of society. “Daddy knows best and we must all obey is wishes.” This is the main reason I am so adamant about removing Republicanism from our governments at every level. “Daddy” will proceed to burn the house down…..and blame everybody else.

  9. While we all like to think of ourselves as independent thinkers the fact is that we are way more influenced by our cultures than rational thought. As we grew up we looked for clues from other people who seemed like us and saw how they behaved, then over time emulated it.

    It’s not a bad scheme, it got us this far, but can be problematic when the times change too fast for it to keep up. So now much of the Midwest is stuck with a population enculturated for completely different times being told by the GOP that they can retard the clock and have the life that they saw among those like them long ago. Like, father knows best and will beat the tar out of you if you disagree. That makes for sticky culture.

    The fact that young people are leaving that life in droves suggests that this is a temporary problem but, like a Midwest tornado, it does a lot of damage while it’s disapating.

    Keep fighting Hoosiers but don’t expect to beat culture, it’s that ingrained among your populace, at least for now. Democracy is the solution to government by the majority and unfortunately Republicans have redefined America’s politics as ruthless. It will take some ruthlessness on the part of Democrats now to right the ship of state.

    Stay strong and united.

  10. lets see,,mmmm, the religious right demands women should become incubators to produce childern destin to become adoptive people. that sign that says,,, problem pregnancy,we can help. a ruse to promote adoption,shame expectant women who are,in trouble,save the world now. church and demigods demanding to be in your lives,through legislature,media,fox and firends.and people who would be better off supporting a food bank over being in someones damn buisness. these are the arguments I have made to those protesting against a womans rights,including nuns. funny how people can always find a reason to shame others,over finding a way to help,before the issue…the quaility in people surely lacks when they are shaming others private lives..

  11. The Reactionary Right Wing – Evangelical Republican Party has at it’s core values Steroid Capitalism, Ultra-Nationalism and Theocracy. These core values have been bound up together. The Italian term fascismo is derived from fascio meaning a bundle of rods, ultimately from the Latin word fasces. These core values are overlaid with Authoritarianism. Authoritarianism is evident in Wall Street, the Military and Religion. I might add these institutions are male dominated.

    A part of the poem, The Charge of the Light Brigade, By Alfred, Lord Tennyson says it rather well:
    Someone had blundered.
    Theirs not to make reply,
    Theirs not to reason why,
    Theirs but to do and die.

    For the Republican Core – Theirs is not to reason why – Critical thinking is not permitted.

    Authoritarianism views Democratic Socialism as a deadly enemy.

  12. Isn’t all this anti-abortion activity a form of genocide directed toward what Republicans see as socially lower classes? Only the poor are forced to accept this form of abuse. It is illustrative of the workings of the religious mind where telling people what they must think is more natural than suggesting that they think for themselves. All useful knowledge, that philosophy holds, originated in the stone age. When that kind of mind becomes part of legislative bodies, it acquires the power to impose on others what it sees as the best possible practices – its own beliefs, prejudices, and opposition to critical thinking. Last night I was lectured by a local preacher about how nothing good could come from a person who didn’t accept Christ as his savior and or who didn’t live strictly in accordance with Biblical commandments. When I responded, in non-Biblical language, that I am an atheist and find my greatest joy in helping others, he found that impossible to believe. I’m sure he sees me as the anti-Christ and prays for the wisdom to save my soul.

    This takes us back to Sheila’s earlier blog post on the Enlightenment. MAGA is a call for rejection of the advancement of reason, knowledge, ideas and science of the 18th century to a time when despots and the church did our thinking for us. If men are allowed to tell women what they may and may not do in their own self-interest, the anti-intellectual community will have succeeded in taking us back to a time when men like Trump were considered smart because they had all the power. What Pete calls “culture” is, all too often, an example of men cementing for themselves the privileges they see as their natural right thanks to bigger biceps.

  13. I am “over it” arguing this point. The truth is so patently obvious that anyone who argues for the GOP position is obviously and self-evidently an ignorant rube. Unfortunately most of the population of Indiana are ignorant rubes.

    Here’s the problem, Indiana. My family is plotting their escape. When my kids settle down, that will be where we all live. I don’t know where, but it will not be in a place where we must live surrounded by ignorant rubes. And so the brain drain will continue, and Indiana will continue to fail.

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