Bill To Require HIV Testing of Pregnant Women Is ‘Moral Necessity,’ Indianapolis Star Editorial Says
An Indiana bill (HB 1630) that would require pregnant women to be tested for HIV during pregnancy or before delivery unless they specifically refuse "will save babies' lives" and "is a moral necessity," an Indianapolis Star editorial says, adding, "That simple fact should convince the 2003 Legislature to pass it into law." However, as of yesterday the bill was stalled in conference committee, with "its champions" -- Rep. Peggy Welch (D) and Sen. Pat Miller (R) -- "working valiantly" to move it out of committee, according to the editorial. The Star says that if any legislator doubts the benefits of the bill, they should consider that a woman who is HIV-positive but who does not receive treatment has a 20% to 25% chance of transmitting HIV to her infant; however, a woman who is identified as HIV-positive and who receives treatment lowers the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission to about 1%. "With that, we rest our case," the editorial concludes (Indianapolis Star, 4/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.