On Tuesday, the Senate approved Senate Bill (SB) 342 after gutting the bill of its original workplace protections for pregnant Hoosiers. State Senator J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis) gave the following comments on the approval of SB 342:
“Today, I voted against SB 342 because the bill sends the issue of workplace pregnancy accommodations to a summer committee to be studied, a common tactic used to make sure a bill’s progress is halted. Pregnant women across the state know that we don’t need to study this issue; they live this every day. SB 342 in its current form no longer guarantees any legal right to reasonable protections in the workplace for pregnant women.
“The original bill had wide bipartisan support, was a priority of the governor’s and received overwhelmingly positive testimony from Hoosiers. This legislation could have gone a long way toward helping lower Indiana’s abysmally high infant mortality rate.
“Still, the legislature is seemingly fine with ignoring those voices and punting this issue for another year. Pregnant women in our state are looking to us in the General Assembly to get this done now.
“The failure of this body to provide reasonable workplace protections is a disappointment to pregnant Hoosiers. This is not a partisan issue. Protecting pregnant women is a human rights issue.”