Senate Bill 1: What now?

Senate Bill 1 goes into effect on Thursday, Sept. 15. Photo by Lauren Hough.


With the implementation of Senate Bill 1, a near-complete abortion ban, on Sept. 15, it is important to know what resources are available to those on campus who can get pregnant or those who are concerned about their partners. 

Butler sent out an email with resources for students that are offered by health services, 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 Consultation Services, CCS, and the Center for Faith and Vocation, CFV. 

Other important information outlined in the email were the steps that need to be taken if someone chooses to pursue a legal abortion. If a student needs to travel for an abortion, they are instructed to contact Butler’s Title IX director, Georgia Hensley. 

Keith Magnus, director for counseling services, hopes that students feel comfortable talking with CCS so they don’t have to make important decisions alone. 

CCS are not mandated reporters, so students can feel comfortable knowing that they can talk to their counselors and not have the information shared leave their meetings. 

If the information is subpoenaed by a court, Magnus said CCS would then contact the Butler legal team to attempt to keep your information private. 

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

It would be a rare case, in Magnus’ opinion, where private information that is talked about during a therapy session would be subpoenaed and CCS would be required to provide it.

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

“I think honestly Butler sent a good email out about that too, with the resources the campus provides and around the Indy area so anyone, with any type of view, feels like they’re able to get support no matter what,” Robinson said. 

Destiny Cherry, a sophomore strategic communication major, thinks that the Center for Faith and Vocation is a useful resource for people to turn to if they need guidance. 

“The Center for Faith and Vocation is a great place to go if you need help with that sort of thing or you just need someone to talk to, and they can steer you in a direction,” Cherry said. 

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

For those who wish to seek resources outside of Butler’s campus and Indiana, the closest state where someone could access a legal abortion throughout their entire pregnancy is Illinois. Michigan has blocked a ban in court and abortion is legal in the state as of now. Like Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky both have abortion bans on the books. 

There are rape and incest exceptions to SB1, but a doctor has to declare and document that the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest and their reasoning as to why. There is no language that specifies the legal time frame for when these abortions have to occur in the bill, although it originally included an age limit of 16 years old. 

Planned Parenthood offers emergency contraceptives, such as the morning after pill. Appointments can be made on the Planned Parenthood website, the nearest location is 20 minutes away from campus. Emergency contraceptives can also be purchased over the counter from pharmacies.

The law in Indiana states that clinics, such as Planned Parenthood, can no longer provide abortions in the allowed cases of rape or incest, maternal health concerns or fetal abnormality. Only specific hospitals will be allowed to provide abortions. 

It is unclear how pregnancies in Indiana will be monitored upon the implementation of SB1, but period tracking and fertilization apps that store data could be subpoenaed to a court of law

Digital footprints such as texts to family members or search history for an abortion pill or clinic could all be used as evidence in a prosecution. Even before the passage of SB1, 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 sending texts to her friends where she talked about taking abortion pills late in her pregnancy. She was convicted of feticide and neglect of a dependent though was ultimately released after an appeal. 

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, have active lawsuits filed against SB1, but unless they result in the bill being blocked in court, the ban will go into place on Sept. 15. 


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