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Invasive ultrasound procedure removed from state abortion bill

Updated: April 29, 2013 11:50AM



INDIANAPOLIS — The House Policy Committee rolled two bills regarding abortion into one Wednesday, but removed language that required invasive ultrasound procedures.

But even as amended, opponents of the bill worry that the legislation is targeting organizations like Planned Parenthood of Indiana.

Senate Bill 371 now requires all clinics that would offer a chemical-induced abortion called RU-486 to meet the same physical requirements of a clinic that offers a surgical abortion.

That equates to requiring specific room sizes, door frames and areas for a patient to recover after a surgical procedure, all for allowing a clinic to offer patients a pill.

Some clinics that were exempt from the requirements from the Indiana Department of Health will be grandfathered in.

The bill was also amended to require a patient to sign a consent form that includes specific information from the state Department of Health, and to list information on the physician offering the procedures or drugs. It also allows a patient to opt out of a required ultrasound.

Liz Carroll of Planned Parenthood of Indiana said a clinic in Lafayette would have to either give up offering the pill or undergo renovations. The regulations would also not improve patient care.

“We want to be sure that women receive access to safe care. We are pretty well regulated for the service we provide.

“What we’re concerned about,” Carroll said, “is regulating us with surgical services, when we don’t provide the surgical abortion services.”

Restricting the access to options will end up costing the state and taxpayers more money, said Kristin Hollister, a medical student at Indiana University since the clinics are often used by women in poverty.

“You’re going to see increases in birth rates for these women who can’t afford to have children,” Hollister said. “Those economics are going to directly effect the taxpayers of Indiana.”

But supporters, including letters from patients who suffered adverse effects to the pill abortion, say not regulating those who distribute RU-486 could put women at risk.

The bill passed the committee 8-5, with all Democrats and state Rep. Sean Eberhart, R-Shelbyville, voting against. Eberhart said he agrees with 90 percent of the bill’s language but believes the same regulations that apply to the clinics should also apply to private physicians.



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