This is the text of the remarks that State Representative Peggy Mayfield gave at the Indiana Right to Life press conferences on June 20.
I am grateful for the opportunity to address you today.
As House sponsor of SEA 404, the bill that provided for the reporting requirements at issue, I applaud the vigilant efforts of Indiana Right to Life to hold Planned Parenthood accountable for protecting our young girls-- girls under 16—girls not yet old enough to get a driver’s license--who have had abortions performed on them. A girl this young, in these cases as young as 12, must either obtain her parent’s consent or the court’s permission before having an abortion. In addition, the provider must notify the Dept. of Child Services within 3 days of the procedure.
The reason for this is clear: the age of consent in Indiana is 16. Any pregnant girls younger than that could be the victim of a variety of sex crimes or trafficking. Doctors play an integral part in identifying and reducing such sexual assaults on children. And I repeat, girls as young as 12. Failure to report these abortions sweeps such behavior under the rug, protects the perpetrators, and can contribute to the continued victimization of these very young girls.
The new law also provides that the license of a physician who fails to report abortions for girls 15 or under may be revoked. I hope that the Indiana Attorney General will thoroughly investigate these cases and vigorously pursue license revocation where warranted.
While we demand that Planned Parenthood fully comply with our state laws, I’ll close with a request for prayers. I encourage each of you to continue to pray for all those touched by abortion. Pray for the mothers who are faced with this decision, that they find healing.
Pray for the young girls who aren’t even old enough to fully realize the impact of their decision, and that those who are in harmful situations will find safety. Pray for those providing abortion services, that they may one day understand the harm of their actions. Pray for policy makers, that they remain steadfast in their pursuit of protecting human life.
And pray for the countless volunteers, that their message will touch the uncertain hearts of women and encourage them to seek alternatives to abortion. Do not become disheartened. With perseverance, we will continue to change hearts and minds of Hoosiers across the state. God bless each and every one of you.