Making Life a Priority in Indiana
by Amy M. Orr
When members of the Indiana General Assembly convened last month, Rep. Curt Nisly of Goshen introduced House Bill 1134, a measure that would repeal state statutes authorizing and regulating abortion. Hoosiers for Life founder Amy Schlichter is a passionate supporter of the “Protection at Conception” bill – and the Jay County resident has worked tirelessly to permit legislators the chance to vote on the proposed law.
“After experiencing infertility and pregnancy loss in my own personal life,” Amy explains, “I’ve acquired a great respect for the unborn. I am making it a priority to ensure they have the ability to live the life that has been given to them.”
Amy created Hoosiers for Life in 2015 to support passage of the Indiana Heartbeat bill (S.B. 144, H.B. 1122), introduced in January 2016 by state senators Jim Banks and Scott Schneider and Rep. Nisly. She says, “After I discovered how easily incremental legislation created the same arguments as strong legislation, I decided that we need to set the standard in Indiana with our life legislation.”
Although Indiana Code 16-34-1-1 states that childbirth is “preferred, encouraged, and supported over abortion,” there are currently few limitations on abortion in the state. Partial-birth abortions are banned in Indiana, but legal abortion methods are available throughout the term of a pregnancy – including the months and weeks before birth when an unborn child could likely survive outside the womb.
“We needed to tell the state what we wanted and stop trying to move forward in small steps. If we are facing the same giants regardless how hefty our bill is, why not stop messing around and just say what we want. Abolish abortion in the state of Indiana.”
On her organization’s website, Amy points out Indiana Code that affirms “human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm” (IC 16-34-2-1.1). Despite the good intentions of pro-life leaders and organizations – and acknowledgement by the State that human life begins at conception – an average of 22 unborn children are “slaughtered in the womb” each year in Indiana.
Perhaps a more shocking statistic is the ratio of annual abortions compared with live births. According to the most recent state report, more than 8,000 Hoosier pregnancies were terminated by an abortion provider in 2013. The same year, doctors delivered around 88,000 babies, meaning approximately 1 in 11 unborn children were aborted in Indiana.
“As we pull back the veil,” adds Amy, “the reality of abortion still remains. It is the intentional killing of human life. To me, that’s a huge problem, and it should be a concern for everyone who lives in Indiana.”
Amy encourages Hoosiers who support ending abortion in Indiana to contact their legislators at the state level – even legislators known to be pro-life. “Go to the Hoosiers for Life website,” she says, “and click the link ‘Find My Legislator’ to see who your state representative and state senator are. Follow the link to the legislator’s page and record their phone number in your cell phone.”
Visitors to the website can also join a mailing list to receive email updates. “Then, when we tell you that your representative or your senator needs to hear from you, you’ll be ready to place that call. Most calls last two minutes or less, and they will ask your name, age and address to verify that you are a voter in their district.
“You don’t have to be prepared to debate the situation. Just leave a simple message about how you want them to vote or what legislation you want them to support.”
Visit Hoosiers for Life online to sign a petition in support of the “Protection at Conception” bill, or add your signature by phone – text “PETITION” to #44222.
Hoosiers for Life
P.O. Box 441
Pennville, IN 47369