Erin Houchin remarks on protecting minors

This is the text of the remarks that State Senator Erin Houchin gave at the Indiana Right to Life press conferences on June 20.

Good morning. I'm State Senator Erin Houchin from Senate District 47, and I was proud to author Senate Enrolled Act 404 in 2017, which sought to protect young girls, under the age of 16, who seek to obtain an abortion.

In Indiana, the age of consent is 16 years of age. When minors under this age seek to terminate pregnancies, it is critical for these cases to be reported to the Department of Child Services and the Indiana State Department of Health to determine if illegal action took place, or if these girls were victimized or are in danger in any way. At these young and vulnerable ages, sometimes as young as 12 years old, it is likely that these pregnancies did not occur as a result of legal, consensual activity. It is the duty of the DCS and law enforcement to examine the circumstances behind each case to determine what, if any, action should be taken to protect these young girls and to hold potential predators accountable. However, these agencies cannot act without our reporting laws being followed.

The alleged failure to report abortions on minors under the age of 16 at every licensed abortion facility in Indiana is negligent and frightening. It is disheartening to see the General Assembly pass thoughtful legislation, only to have some in the abortion industry disregard the law completely and subject young girls to continued potential abuse. Abortion providers are in a unique position to report these cases, and each suspected violation of the law must be fully investigated.

We have taken significant steps to protect the most vulnerable in our state, and our laws must be followed in order to make sure our efforts see their intended results.

I applaud Indiana Right to Life for drawing attention to this important matter, and calling on providers to follow the law.

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