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Panel of IU faculty and staff speak out against SB 1

Clayton Baumgarth

Seven IU Bloomington faculty and staff members held a panel Friday to help people understand the near total abortion ban passed by state lawmakers earlier this month.

One audience member asked what the ban’s exception meant in cases where the mother’s life or health are at risk.

Senator Shelli Yoder (D-Bloomington), who participated on the panel, said the bill’s wording leaves that unclear.

“And we wanted clarity made, but it received a lot of pushback. So there is a great deal of uncertainty the way that it’s written.”

Yoder and other panelists added the uncertainty will affect how quickly doctors act when making recommendations to pregnant patients, and could have a chilling effect.

Another panelist, IU Maurer School of Law Professor Jody Madeira said the ban’s exception up to 20 weeks post-fertilization in instances of fatal fetal anomaly is problematic, because most high-level ultrasounds are performed at 20 weeks.

Beth Gazley, one of the panel’s organizers and a professor in the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, said many people are concerned about what SB1 will mean for them, and that’s why they wanted to hold the panel.

“I think we have to recognize there’s a level of anxiety that we’re not necessarily seeing, it’s not coming out. It’s happening in private conversations. And so we also wanted to normalize the conversation.”

The panel was an independent event organized by the faculty and staff and was unaffiliated with the university.