Indiana physicians sound alarm on community impact of impending abortion ban
Indiana physicians are sounding the alarm on the impact they say the state’s impending abortion ban will have not just on pregnant people, but the entire community.
The law is currently on hold, but largely expected to take effect in the near future. And it will ban more than 90 percent of the abortions traditionally performed in Indiana.
Dr. Katie McHugh, an OB-GYN, said the most obvious effect is on maternal and infant mortality — two areas where Indiana is already among the worst in the country.
But she said the impact is far broader.
“When people who are pregnant cannot function, cannot work, they are busy taking care of families that they did not have the control to expand when they were ready, the entire family structure suffers and all members of the community are impacted,” McHugh said.
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The abortion ban will likely also affect the future of medicine in the state. Dr. Ric Henderson is a second-year medical resident. She said as she decides where to practice, the abortion ban has made her and other new doctors hesitant to stay in Indiana.
“It’s the direct result of the state legislation introducing fear into our medical practices,” Henderson said.
A quarter of Indiana’s counties are already maternity care deserts, meaning they have no hospitals or birthing care centers, according to the March of Dimes.