Indianapolis, In. — A bill authored by Republican state senator from Oldenburg, Jean Leising that would allow minors to receive pregnancy-related care today passed the Senate Committee on Health and Provider Services by a bipartisan vote of 10-1.
Senate Bill 352 would allow minors who are at least 16 years old to consent to healthcare if they are pregnant, in labor or postpartum.
“Many young women are coming into hospitals across our state to deliver a child, but they are unable to receive basic care unless the situation becomes serious because their parents or guardian are not present,” Leising said. “Not all pregnant minors have parental support. For the safety of the mother and baby, we need to make sure these women are able to consent to necessary care, as Indiana already has high maternal and infant mortality rates.”
According to America’s Health Rankings by the United Health Foundation, Indiana’s maternal mortality rate was twice the national average in 2018. The report also found that 7.4 infant deaths occurred per 1,000 live births in 2018 compared to 5.9 infant deaths per 1,000 live births nationwide.
SB 352 will now move to the full Senate for consideration.