Indiana's GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels Urged to Sign Pro-Life Bill

April 29, 2011 - 4:50 PM

mitch daniels

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, a Republican. (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, likely will sign a bill that denies state-administered family planning services to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, two Indiana pro-life groups told CNSNews.com, while two other pro-life organizations urged Daniels to stop delaying and sign the legislation right away.

The bill, HB 1210, would prohibit Planned Parenthood from receiving $2 million in federal family planning funds distributed by the state, including federally provided Medicaid funding.

The bill overwhelmingly passed the Indiana legislature, and now heads to Gov. Daniels’ desk, where he can sign it, veto it, or do nothing for seven days and allow it to become law.

Indiana Family Institute President Carl Smith told CNSNews.com that based on his personal knowledge of the governor, he thinks Daniels will sign the bill.

“I personally believe – I’ve had a brief phone conversation with him now 10 days ago – I personally believe he’s going to sign it,” Smith said.

“I consider myself to have known him a long time and know his family well. The way you talk to this guy [Daniels] is with principled persuasion and Planned Parenthood has just gone ballistic out here,” Smith continued. “For all those reasons I suspect he’ll sign the bill.”

Smith noted that Daniels has publicly supported the underlying legislation – which also strengthens Indiana’s informed-consent laws – and that the governor realizes that if he signs the bill, Indiana would become the most pro-life state in the country.

Some have worried that Daniels may veto the measure if he concludes that it might put the state’s $4 million in family planning aid in jeopardy.

That concern, while valid, is not likely to motivate Daniels to veto the bill, American Family Association of Indiana Executive Director Micah Clark told CNSNews.com because Daniels’ veto wouldn’t stop the law from going into effect.

“I think that he will [sign it],” Clark said. “Locally, the big push-back is from Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry and even some of the state agencies that were working mostly with Planned Parenthood to lobby the governor to veto the bill.”

Clark said that in the unlikely event Daniels does veto the bill, the Indiana legislature will simply override that veto.

“Vetoing it doesn’t do much except buy time until Reorganization Day in November, because the session ends today [April 29] and the governor in Indiana has a pretty weak veto, so he’ll probably be overridden,” said Clark.

Reorganization Day is the day – common in many state legislatures – where the legislature has the opportunity to amend or override vetoed legislation.

Clark noted that Daniels has signed pro-life legislation in the past, but pointed out that the budget-conscious governor had also indicated he has other priorities.

Baby at 5 months.

Baby at 5 months of age.

“He has signed pro-life legislation before,” said Clark. “Of course, he also made statements at the beginning of the [legislative] session that he didn’t want pro-life legislation to get in the way of the crucial issues,” the governor wants to address.

Officially, Daniels has remained noncommittal, telling the Indianapolis Star on April 28, “I haven’t decided yet.” His office did not return multiple phone calls and e-mails from CNSNews.com.

Smith said that he was “a little nervous” about the issue, but repeated that he fully believed Daniels would sign the legislation.

“I can’t say I’m confident – just because it’s so important and I’m a little nervous – but I believe the Governor will sign it,” said Smith.

Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Nance issued a short statement on Friday that said, “Governor Mitch Daniels, a supposed self-proclaimed social and fiscal conservative, needs to stop dithering on defunding Planned Parenthood and sign the darn bill already.”

The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List also called on Daniels to sign the legislation. “We expect that Gov. Daniels understands that there is no truce on doing what is right,” said List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “This commonsense legislation is aimed at saving lives, protecting women, and getting taxpayers out of the abortion industry.”