State Legislation

Indiana Life Laws

  • Indiana law permits charges of murder, manslaughter and feticide against any person killing an unborn child, at any stage of development, during the commission of a felony.
  • Indiana law requires that physicians, hospitals and abortion facilities report when a mom is injured by an abortion. Complications required to be reported include: uterine perforation, cervical perforation, infection, hemorrhaging, respiratory arrest, shock, or incidents in which parts of an aborted baby are left within the mom.
  • Indiana law requires a report when a mom gets an abortion which is a result of abuse, coercion, harassment or trafficking.
  • Under Indiana law, safe haven baby boxes can be installed at IN fire departments that are staffed around the clock by emergency medical services provider.
  • Abortions may be performed at or after 5 months (i.e., 20 weeks) only for “medical necessity.”
  • Indiana prohibits partial-birth abortions.
  • Indiana prohibits abortions based solely on the baby’s race, sex, or diagnosis or potential diagnosis of a disability. The law also requires that a woman be provided with information on perinatal hospice when considering an abortion because the unborn child has been diagnosed with a lethal fetal anomaly. In Planned Parenthood’s challenge to the law, a federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction against this anti-discrimination law.
  • Indiana law requires that, at least 18 hours before an abortion, a woman receive information about the type of abortion procedure to be used, the risks of and alternatives to that particular procedure (including the risks of chemical abortion), the probable gestational age of the unborn child, the risks associated with carrying the pregnancy to term, and the name of the physician who will perform the abortion. Further, the woman must be told about state medical assistance benefits, the father’s liability for child support, and abortion alternatives.
  • A 2011 state law requires that informed consent information include the fact that human physical life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm. Further, before an abortion, women must be informed that “objective scientific information shows that a fetus can feel pain” at or before 5 months (i.e., 20 weeks) gestation, but that portion of the law has been declared invalid as applied to women in the first trimester.
  • Indiana requires an ultrasound at least 18 hours before an abortion. The image must be displayed unless the woman signs a form indicating that she does not desire to see the image. Further, the auscultation of fetal heart tone must be made audible, if possible, unless the woman signs a form indicating that she does not wish to hear the heart tone. This legislation is currently enjoined pending further litigation.
  • A woman must be informed that she has a right to determine how the fetal remains are disposed. All facilities performing surgical abortions must be licensed by the state Department of Health and meet comprehensive health and safety standards. State officials are required to inspect abortion facilities once a year. Indiana also requires that post-first-trimester abortions be performed in a hospital or ambulatory outpatient surgical center. A law requiring facilities providing chemical abortions to meet the same standards as facilities providing surgical abortions was struck down by a federal district court.
  • Only physicians licensed to practice medicine in Indiana may perform abortions. Abortion providers must have admitting privileges in the county where they provide abortions or in a contiguous county. In 2014, Indiana amended its admitting privileges requirement to remove the option of contracting with another physician who has admitting privileges and to require that each abortion provider personally maintain local admitting privileges. Indiana has an enforceable abortion reporting law, but does not require the reporting of information to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The measure applies to both surgical and nonsurgical abortions and requires abortion providers to report short-term complications. Abortion providers must report, among other things, the post-fertilization age (of the unborn child) and, if an abortion is performed at or after 5 months (i.e., 20 weeks), the medical reason for the abortion. If an abortion is performed on a female who is less than 14 years of age, the physician who performed the abortion must transmit an informational form to both the state Department of Health and the state Department of Child Services within a specified time period.
  • Indiana requires that a physician examine a woman before providing abortion-inducing drugs, effectively preventing the dangerous practice of “webcam abortion.” The law also provides that the drugs cannot be administered past nine weeks post-fertilization unless the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved them for such use.
  • Indiana funds abortions for women eligible for public assistance when necessary to preserve the woman’s life or physical health or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. It further provides that neither the state nor any political subdivision of the state may make a payment from any fund under its control for the performance of an abortion unless the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman.
  • The state Office of Women’s Health director and employees are not permitted to advocate, promote, refer for, or otherwise advance abortion or abortion-inducing drugs.
  • In 2011, Indiana prohibited state agencies from contracting with or making grants (of state or state administered federal funds) to entities that perform abortions or maintain or operate facilities where abortions are performed, and cancelled existing contracts with such entities. However, the Seventh Circuit enjoined the law as applied to Medicaid funding.
  • Indiana prohibits insurance companies from offering abortion coverage within the state insurance exchanges established pursuant to the federal healthcare law, except in cases of life endangerment, substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function, rape, or incest.
  • Indiana prohibits insurance coverage of abortion, with exceptions protecting the mother’s life, guarding against substantial threats to the mother’s health, and applying in cases of rape and incest. The measure is based on AUL’s Abortion Coverage Prohibition Act. Indiana offers “Choose Life” license plates, the proceeds of which benefit pregnancy resource centers and/or other organizations providing abortion alternatives.
  • Indiana passed legislation in 2017, strengthening the requirements to obtain written parental consent prior to performing an abortion on an un-emancipated minor. This legislation also established abortion clinic health and safety requirements, as well as reporting requirements. Portions of this legislation have been enjoined by a district court, pending further litigation.
  • An assault on a viable unborn child is a prosecutable crime.
  • In addition, Indiana defines criminal assaults on a pregnant woman that result in miscarriage, stillbirth, or “damage to pregnancy” as an enhanced offense for sentencing purposes. Indiana allows a wrongful death (civil) action only when an unborn child is born alive following a negligent or criminal act and dies thereafter.
  • Indiana has created a specific affirmative duty of physicians to provide medical care and treatment to infants born alive at any stage of development.
  • Indiana defines substance abuse during pregnancy as “child abuse” under civil child welfare statutes. In 2013, it allocated funds for “prenatal substance use and prevention” for pregnant women.
  • The state Department of Health has been directed to develop a system of registry for stillbirth information.
  • Indiana law requires that an abortion clinic or healthcare facility having possession of an aborted fetus shall provide for the final disposition of the aborted fetus by interment or cremation. A preliminary injunction has been issued against the enforcement of this requirement.
  • It is a felony to sell or unlawfully transfer fetal tissue.
  • Indiana prohibits altering the timing, method, or procedure of an abortion for the purpose of obtaining or collecting fetal tissue.
  • Indiana bans human cloning for any purpose and prohibits taxpayer funding of human cloning.
  • While Indiana does not explicitly ban destructive embryo research, it does prohibit research on embryos created from ova initially provided for use in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures as well as experimentation on aborted fetuses. However, the state’s prohibition on experimentation on embryos created for use in IVF explicitly excludes fetal stem-cell research from its application.
  • Indiana has established a public umbilical cord-blood bank and an educational initiative to promote public awareness of the importance of donating. Participating facilities must offer patients the option of donating cord blood following delivery.
  • Indiana has also directed the Board of Trustees at Indiana University to establish an adult stem-cell research center.
  • Indiana prohibits the purchase or sale of human ova, but does not prohibit certain transactions between a woman and a qualified IVF clinic for certain expenses (e.g., earnings lost, travel expenses, medical expenses, or recovery time).
  • It does not otherwise regulate assisted reproductive technologies, but does prohibit gestational surrogacy contracts.
  • Assisting a suicide constitutes a felony. Indiana maintains a Physicians Order for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm Program.