As you all know, on Tuesday, SJR 7 failed to advance out of committee. What you may not know is how many legislators were supremely pissed off about it, and what they're trying to do in retaliation.
Bil's already posted about the Star articles and Rep. Bosma's extreme disappointment at what he says is the partisan political manuevering behind SJR 7's failure. So you'd be surprised to hear that there's some heavy duty revenge tactics being orchestrated in response, right? Because Bosma et al are above that sort of thing, right?
If the anti-sex politicians in the General Assembly can't make gays second class citizens, then by god, they'll do it to women. Thursday, a half-dozen anti-choice 2nd reading amendments were filed on 3 bills completely unrelated to abortion. (continued after break)
Senate Bill 199 would streamline the process for a child's stepparent or grandparent to adopt him/her. I expected this to be an easy target for those mad about SJR 7, it's the natural place to try again with the amendment prohibiting any LGBT individuals or couples from adopting (AI posted on this at the time).
But that didn't happen. Instead, SB 199 got hit with 2 addtions to the "informed consent" script that women have to hear at least 18 hours before they have an abortion; doctors would have to tell women that "the fetus may feel pain" and that "life begins at conception." (Read this if you don't immediately know why that's bad.) A third amendment would magically decree by legislative fiat that every fetus is viable at 20 weeks' gestation, regardless of medical evaluation (read this to find out why that's medically unsound and completely unconstitutional).
Then there's Senate Bill 207, which deals with reporting medical complications to the state board of health. At least this bill is related to health care, but the amendment to once again go over the requirements for the licensure of abortion facilities is still a bit of a stretch. It's also completely unnecessary.
Senate Bill 335 is a 96-page bill addressing continuing education & other requirements for the renewal of various professional licenses. One amendment would require doctors who provide abortions to have hospital admitting privileges (read this for the "why this is bad"--or just think how many hospitals are being bought out by religious institutions who, like the legislature, oppose sex).
But the piece de resistance of the lot is the other amendment offered to SB 335, which would create an entirely new professional license--which would be administered NOT by the state Professional Licensing Agency but by ISDH--for a "Termination of Pregnancy Specialist." In other words, any physician already licensed in accordance with Indiana laws and regulations who wanted to provide abortions would have to meet additional yet-to-be-written requirements AND pay an additional annual licensing fee of--get this--$20,000.
I'm told that the highest licensing fee IPLA currently levies is $250 per year, which means that the unconstitutionality of it would be pretty easy to prove, but wow. You have to admire the chutzpah. Especially when I tell you that amendment also states that the money from said fees, after administration costs are covered, would go to fund the newly-established "Young Woman's Advancement Grant". Who could vote against scholarship money for girls? It's Orwellian in its brilliance, really.
And think of how much good it will do! "Here, young lady, have a scholarship. Go on to college. Of course, next year, we're outlawing birth control too, so you'll get pregnant in your sophomore year and drop out because we've eroded all access to abortion and your right to choose is completely meaningless, but hey, that's the trade-off."
But then, nobody ever accused an anti-sex politician of doing anything that's actually good for anybody. Remember, their highest priority at all times is to impose their specific brand of religion on others. Nothing is more important than regulating the sexual lives (or science classrooms) of everybody else. Which is why they'll bring SJR 7 back again next year.
None of the above bills was actually called to 2nd reading yesterday. I'll post an update Monday.