Proposed abortion bill could charge Indiana doctors with felony, up to six years in prison

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    A proposed abortion bill could greatly limit second trimester abortions in Indiana.

    It could even charge the doctor responsible with a Level 5 felony.

    This bill could go to a vote as early as next week.

    House Bill 12-11 -- also known as the “Dismemberment Abortion Ban” -- will be voted on by the Public Policy Committee Monday.

    If that vote is approved, it will then head to the full House for a vote.

    “Dismemberment abortion is such a violent and gruesome act of violence, and to see that banned will be a great victory for women, and children and families in South Bend and as well as the state of Indiana,” said Jackie Appleman, Executive Dir. Of Saint Joseph County Right to Life.

    “I think it’s a dangerous bill,” said Dr. Sue Ellen Braunlin, Co-President of the Indiana Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. “It precludes the safest, most common method for second trimester abortions.”

    House Bill 12-11 would ban “dismemberment abortions” unless performing the abortion was necessary to save the mother’s life.

    It’s a procedure that involves pulling the fetus apart. It does not include abortion using a suction method, which is common during the first trimester.

    After the first trimester, dismemberment is the most common procedure.

    “Whether it happens at 14 weeks or 20 weeks, the dismemberment of a living child in the uterus is just violent,” said Appleman. “It’s not necessary and it needs to stop.”

    Those against the bill fear for women’s health.

    “I fear that pregnant women will be allowed to get too sick before they are offered the treatment they need, even in situations with a non-viable fetus,” said Braunlin.

    Both sides have strong opinions on the issue.

    “They value life and they see the immeasurable value and worth of a human being,” said Appleman.

    “It can appear to be gruesome, a lot of things are,” said Braunlin, “but it is a life-saving medical practice that needs to be accessible.”

    If the bill passes, a doctor that does perform a dismemberment abortion could face a Level 5 felony.

    It carries a sentence of one to six years in prison.

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