House Approves Expanded Abortion Ethical Exemption

Mar 15, 2019

Legislation to allow Indiana pharmacists to refuse to provide abortion-inducing drugs is a step away from the governor’s desk.

The House approved the measure 69 to 25, largely along party lines.

Existing law already allows physicians and hospital employees to refuse to provide abortion services if they have ethical or religious objections. Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) says the new bill expands that to nurses, physician assistants and pharmacists.

“Because they are not always employees of the hospital," Bacon says. "A lot of them come to the hospital with the physician or in the clinic.”

Rep. Chris Chyung (D-Dyer) says he could have supported the bill - if it had any protections for patients.

“As written, this bill does not have an emergency exception and would hang out to dry women who are victims of rape or incest or their lives were in immediate danger,” Chyung says.

The House made a small, technical change to the bill. Sen. Liz Brown (R-Fort Wayne), the measure's author, says she’ll likely ask her colleagues to agree to that alteration and send the measure to the governor.