By Lucas Lloyd
INDIANAPOLIS – A bill that would change the process for minors to seek an abortion passed the Senate Tuesday.
Current Indiana law requires that a minor to have the consent of a parent or legal guardian to have an abortion. However, the adult accompanying the minor is not required to provide proof of their guardianship. Rep. Erin Houchin, R-Salem, said that means a non-custodial adult can pose as the parent.
Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, voices her concerns with the Senate about the legislation. Tallian was one of thirteen people who opposed the bill.Photo by Lucas Lloyd, TheStatehouseFile.com
“So, abortions can happen currently in the state of Indiana on minor children without their parents ever even knowing about it,” she said.
If the guardian refuses consent, the minor would then have to go to a judge. Currently the minor, her attorney, her doctor and the juvenile court judge decide whether she is mature enough to decide on abortion. The bill would give parents a voice in that hearing.
Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, objected to that, saying the purpose of using the courts as a means of obtaining permission is to avoid involving the parents.
“The point of the judicial bypass is that she doesn’t want her parents to know for some good reason and so what we are doing with this bill completely undermines the judicial bypass procedure,” said Tallian.
However, Houchin argued that parents have a right to know.
“These are not women seeking abortions,” she said. “They are children seeking abortions.”
Senate Bill 404 passed the Senate with a 36-13 vote and will move to the House.
Lucas Lloyd is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.