Regardless of who is appointed to the Supreme Court, Hoosier lawmakers should protect women’s rights

You may be wondering why there is so much excitement regarding the retirement of Justice Kennedy from the Supreme Court.  Justice Kennedy was no liberal, he was not even a moderate in most instances. It was Justice Kennedy that authored the Citizens United opinion. However, Justice Kennedy did side with the more liberal justices when it came to a few key issues, one being women’s health care rights. Without Justice Kennedy on the Supreme Court, women’s healthcare rights could be left in the hands of the individual states. This means we need our Indiana lawmakers to protect Hoosiers. However, Indiana lawmakers have consistently shown us that they do not support women’s health care rights. Indiana has some of the most restrictive laws in the nation when it comes to women’s health care rights. The state currently has the fourth highest rate of maternal death in the United States and its infant mortality rate is more than two points higher than the national average. We need change!

Will Roe v. Wade be overturned? Maybe not, but Indiana has done its best year after year to erode its protections and a new justice on the Supreme Court is just what Indiana needs to accomplish this. Recently, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed a law that requires medical providers who treat women for “complications” arising from abortions to report detailed patient information to the state, even if the doctor didn’t perform the procedure. The law suggests legal penalties (including jail time and fines) for health care providers who fail to report information about patients with abortion complications. Even if you don’t support a woman’s right to choose, this law is still alarming.  The law as written makes it impossible for medical professionals to know exactly what must be reported. The law lists 26 potential abortion “complications” including sleeplessness or depression. The law also implies that other non-listed complications are required to be reported to the state. This means that physicians have to interpret a vaguely written law and somehow make sure they report everything, otherwise they risk possible jail time. You think your doctor doesn’t listen to you now? I can see doctors putting fingers in their ears to avoid the potential for criminal charges simply because you want to discuss your health. A woman should be allowed to have candid, honest discussions with her physician without fear of government interference.

I believe that women, not politicians, should be in charge of their own health care. Hoosier women need to feel assured that regardless of who is appointed to the Supreme Court, their rights are protected. Help send me to the State House to fight for all Hoosiers by donating to my campaign.

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