IU Health prepares with stricter abortion law set to take effect

In 2021, less than 2 percent of Indiana's abortions were performed in hospitals, according to the state's health department. As of Sept. 15, however, abortions in the state can be performed only in hospitals, and Indiana's largest health system is working to adjust to what likely will be an increased workload, the Indianapolis Star reported Sept. 1.

Under the state's new law, pregnancies can be terminated only in hospitals and only under three circumstances: the pregnancy is threatening the mother's life, is a case of rape or incest (up to 10 weeks) or has a fatal fetal anomaly (up to 20 weeks), according to the Star

Services in hospitals are generally more expensive than those performed in outpatient settings, David Ingram, MD, executive vice president of Indianapolis-based Indiana University Health, said at a Sept. 1 news conference. According to Dr. Ingram, the new law will increase the number of pregnancies carried to term, and around 10 percent will require admission to a neonatal intensive care unit, among hospitals' most expensive departments. 

IU Health is working to expand, as its neonatal intensive care units already operate at 90 percent to 95 percent capacity, the Star reported. The system has also added a rapid response team to provide legal counsel, as abortion's legality is murky under the new law. 

"[The new law] has certainly increased our workload, but [we] know how important this is to preserving our promise to providing the best care for patients who seek our care,” Dr. Ingram said at the news conference. 

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