Senate Bill 1: What Now?

Senate Bill 1 takes effect Thursday, September 15. Photo by Lauren Hough.


With the establishment of Senate Bill 1an almost total ban on abortion, on September 15it is important to know what resources are available for people on campus who may become pregnant or who are worried about their partner.

Butler sent a E-mail with resources for students that are offered by health departments, including oral contraceptives, condoms, testing for sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy tests.

The email also provided mental health and spiritual resources such as Counseling and Counseling Services, CCS, and Center for Faith and Vocation, CFV.

Other important information outlined in the email was the steps to take if someone chooses to pursue a legal abortion. If a student needs to travel for an abortion, they are asked to contact Butler’s Title IX director, Georgia Hensley.

Keith Magnus, Director of Counseling Services, hopes students feel comfortable talking with CCS so they don’t have to make important decisions on their own.

CCSs are not commissioned reporters, so students can feel comfortable knowing they can talk to their advisors and that the information shared doesn’t leave their meetings.

If the information is subpoenaed by a court, Magnus said CCS will then contact Butler’s legal team to try to keep your information private.

“We have no legal right to share anything with anyone without this student’s permission,” Magnus said.

This would be a rare case, in Magnus’ view, where private information discussed during a therapy session would be subpoenaed and CSC would be required to provide it.

Cori Robinson, a political science and international studies student, said Butler’s email was helpful for students and listed good resources available to them.

“I honestly think Butler sent out a good email about this as well, with resources provided on campus and in the Indy area, so that anyone, regardless of perspective, feels like to be able to get help no matter what,” Robinson said. .

Destiny Cherry, a second-year strategic communications student, thinks the Faith and Vocation Center is a helpful resource people can turn to if they need advice.

“The Center for Faith and Vocation is a great place to go if you need help with this stuff or just need someone to talk to, and they can point you in one direction,” said said Cherry.

The Center for Faith and Vocation offers guidance to people of many faiths, including Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Evangelical, Orthodox, and even secular beliefs.

For those looking for resources outside of the Butler campus and Indiana, the closest state someone could access a legal abortion throughout their pregnancy is Illinois. Michigan blocked a ban in court, and abortion is now legal in the state. Like Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky have both banned abortion on the books.

There are exceptions for rape and incest in SB1, but a physician must declare and document that the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest and explain why. There is no language specifying the legal time frame within which such abortions must take place in the bill, although it originally included an age limit of 16.

Planned parenthood offers emergency contraceptives, such as the morning after pill. Appointments can be made on the Planned Parenthood website, the closest location is 20 minutes from campus. Emergency contraceptives can also be purchased without a prescription from pharmacies.

Indiana law states that clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, can no longer offer abortions in permitted cases of rape or incest, maternal health issues, or fetal abnormality. Only certain hospitals will be allowed to perform abortions.

It’s unclear how pregnancies in Indiana will be monitored when SB1 is implemented, but the period tracking and fertility apps that store the data could be subpoenaed to appear in court.

Digital fingerprints such as text messages to family members or the search history of an abortion pill or clinic could all be used as evidence in a pursuit. Even before SB1 passed, this had precedent in the state of Indiana. In South Bend, Indiana in 2015, a woman named Purvi Patel was sentenced to 20 years in prison for texting her friends talking about taking abortion pills at the end of her pregnancy. She was convicted of feticide and neglect of a dependent, but was eventually released after an appeal.

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, have ongoing lawsuits against SB1, but unless they result in the bill being blocked in court, the ban will go into effect September 15.

Norman D. Briggs