Contact: Lindsey Ross, Senior Press Secretary
STATEHOUSE (April 2, 2019) – A bill sponsored by State Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) that would allow minors to receive pregnancy-related care today passed the Senate unanimously.
House Bill 1547 would allow minors who are 16 and 17 years old to consent to healthcare if they are pregnant, in labor or postpartum. The bill would also require the healthcare provider to make a reasonable effort to contact the minor’s parent or guardian for consent before providing pregnancy, delivery or postpartum care.
“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 guardians are not present,” Leising said. “For the safety of the mother and baby, we need to make sure these young 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 that occurred nationwide. This makes Indiana the 7th worst in the nation.
HB 1547 will now return to the House of Representatives for consideration.
For a high-resolution photo of Sen. Leising, click here.