Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bad Day for Reproductive Rights and Religious Liberty in Indiana

I've previously written with regard to Indiana Senate Bill 3 and Indiana Senate Bill 146. Unfortunately, on January 29, 2008, the Indiana Senate voted 30-18 to pass SB3 and 39-9 to pass SB146.

Two things are worth mentioning. First, SB146 was passed without any debate on the floor of the Senate. I wonder if all of the Senators voting for SB146 really understood its full implications, especially as related to religious liberty issues. Second, the article "Senate votes to pass drug dispensing measure" (The Indianapolis Star, January 30, 2008) states:

[Senator Jeff] Drozda said the bill does not apply to birth control pills, and he is open to clarifying the proposal as it moves through the House. He had earlier opposed an amendment to underscore that the bill did not affect contraceptives.

If Sen. Drozda is "open to clarifying" that SB3 does not apply to birth control pills, why did he oppose an amendment that would have said just that? Just for the record, among the many amendments offered to the Senate committee that heard SB3 were amendments that would have revised the language by stating that:

  • This section does not apply to contraceptive drugs and devices that have been approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration to prevent pregnancy; or
  • This section does not apply to a drug or medical device that: (1) has been classified by the federal Food and Drug Administration as an oral contraceptive; and (2) is not classified by the federal Food and Drug Administration as an abortifacient.

Thus, it appears that Sen. Drozda had the opportunity to clarify that SB3 was not intended to apply to birth control bills but chose not to do so.

Now it is up to the Indiana House of Representatives to keep these bad bills from becoming laws.

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