MARSHALL COUNTY — The first Sunday of every October is ‘National Life Chain Sunday’.
The 2019 event will be held Sunday, October 6. In addition to Marshall County Right to Life, several area churches and pro-life activists gather on Michigan Street in Plymouth to observe the tradition.
Marshall County Right to Life
Marshall County Right to Life advocate Abigail McIntire volunteered to hand out literature at the Marshall County Blueberry Festival this weekend.
“Would you like some free information?” she asked those passing by. McIntire distributed discreet bags containing brochures detailing alternatives to abortion, the development cycle, and other literature to those who accepted.
“Our goal is to offer educational materials in a spirit of compassion. We aren’t here to condemn anyone.” McIntire said. “There are people who get offended when they see us here. I am passionate about helping people understand these issues.”
McIntire pointed to a glass tank filled with models depicting 12 weeks of fetal development. “That represents how many babies are aborted in Indiana in a month.”
Abortion / Termination of Pregnancy
Harvard Medical School Harvard Health Publishing defines abortion (termination of pregnancy) as ‘the removal of pregnancy tissue, products of conception or the fetus and placenta (afterbirth) from the uterus. In general, the terms fetus and placenta are used after eight weeks of pregnancy. Pregnancy tissue and products of conception refer to tissue produced by the union of an egg and sperm before eight weeks.’ The cite offers other terms for abortion including elective abortion, induced abortion, termination of pregnancy and therapeutic abortion. More information can be found at health.harvard.edu.
Terminated Pregnancy Report
According to the terminated pregnancy report 2018 found on in.gov, a legal induced abortion as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is an intervention performed by a licensed clinician that is intended to terminate an ongoing pregnancy.
8,037 terminations were reported to the Indiana State Department of Health in 2018. 7,263 of those terminations were performed for Indiana residents.
According to that data, an average of 669.75 pregnancies were terminated in Indiana per month in 2018. 85.34% of those terminations were sought by unmarried women. The study noted that over 1/3 of those terminations were among women who had a high school diploma or general education degree. Those numbers declined among women with college degrees.
Surgically, suction curettage was reported 4,729. Mifepristone and Misoprostol were used as non-surgical methods of termination 3,296 times. Facilities that reported the procedure were listed by facility type; abortion clinic or acute care hospital.
Planned Parenthood of Merrillville, Lafayette, Bloomington and Indianapolis, the Women’s Medical Center of Indianapolis, and the Clinic for Women were listed as abortion clinics. Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital, Indiana University Health North Hospital, Indiana University Health Methodist, and Community Hospital North Surgery Center were listed among acute care hospitals.
No maternal deaths were reported in 2018 resulting from the terminated pregnancies in 2018. Complications included hemorrhage, infection, uterine perforation, cervical laceration, retained products, other (specify) and none were cited in 13 reports of the 8,037 total terminations performed.
Roe V. Wade
It was in January of 1973 that the Supreme Court ruled that state laws making abortion illegal were unconstitutional. The court ruled in Roe v. Wade that a woman had the right to make her own medical decisions which included the right to terminate a pregnancy.
Although abortion is legal, states can impose consent requirements, enforce facility codes, and mandate a required waiting period.
Section 1 of Indiana Code Title 16 Health 16-34-1-1 states that childbirth is preferred, encouraged and supported over abortion.
Section 2 restricts the use of funding for abortion unless the abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the pregnant woman.
Section 3 states that no private or denominational hospital shall be required to permit its facilities to be utilizes for the performance of abortions.
Section 4 provided physicians, hospital employees and health clinic staff with legal authorization to refuse providing abortion care based on ethical, moral or religious grounds.
Section 9 states that the general assembly finds that ‘there is substantial medical evidence that a fetus of twenty (20) weeks of post fertilization age has the physical structures necessary to experience pain. In addition to other findings, ‘Indiana asserts a compelling state interest in protecting the life of a fetus from the state at which substantial medical evidence indicates that the fetus is capable of feeling pain.’
Governor Eric Holcomb signed House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1211 into law which took effect in July 2019. It prohibits the use of dilation and evacuation abortions, termed ‘dismemberment abortion’, except when the woman would suffer ‘substantial and irreversible physical impairment or major bodily function’. That law passed the senate 83-10. It passed the Senate Judiciary Committee 7-3. It passed the House of Representatives 71-25. It passed the House Public Policy Committee 9 - 4. Though the mother can not be prosecuted, the person who performs the termination would be committing a Level 5 Felony. That offense carries a possible sentence of one to six years in prison and a monetary fine of $10,000.
According to the Indiana State Department of Health, an average of 7,262.6 abortions are performed annually. Over 99% of those terminations are performed at 13 weeks or less of gestation. 58.67% are performed at 8 weeks or less than 8 weeks of gestation. 40.91% were reported at 9 to 13 weeks of gestation.
A total of 27 terminations were reported in 2018 for Marshall County. Neighboring counties reporting terminations were Pulaski County with 4, Fulton County with 5, Kosciusko County with 35, Elkhart County with 87, St. Joseph County with 142, and Starke County with 5. Lake County located in the North West corner of Indiana reported the most terminations for 2018 with 574 performed.
A report published by Guttmacher Institute ‘State Facts About Abortion’ for Indiana found online at guttmacher.org detailed some findings from 2014. According to that study, Indiana represented 0.9% of all abortions in the United States.
Life Chain Net(work)
Life Chain is in the 32nd year. The movement states, ‘Life Chain.Net(work) is a ‘peaceful and prayerful public witness of pro-life individuals standing for 90 minutes praying for our nation and for an end to abortion. It is a visual statement of solidarity by the Christian community that abortion kills children and that the Church supports the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception until natural death.’
Plymouth is listed to be held on the corner of Michigan St. and Jefferson St. from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 6. Contact Chris White at 219-544-1011 for more information.
Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Marshall County Right to Life
Facebook @ MarshallCountyRighttoLife
Life Chain Net(work)