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Pence signs bill restricting abortion pill; Planned Parenthood, ACLU to challenge

Updated: June 3, 2013 3:16PM



INDIANAPOLIS — Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill restricting the use of abortion-inducing drugs at clinics, saying the move will protect women’s health.

Senate Enrolled Act 371 will require clinics that dispense the drug to comply with standards for facilities that provide surgical abortions. The drug, known as RU-486, cannot be administered after nine weeks of pregnancy.

The new law also requires the Indiana State Department of Health to post a brochure about abortions on its website, and require doctors to have the brochure available.

State Sen. Mike Young, R-Indianapolis, also added a provision allowing women to skip a required fetal ultrasound to hear the fetal heartbeat, provided she signs a waiver.

Pence said Wednesday he believes in the right to life, and that this law helps protect women and their health.

“Abortion-inducing drugs can be very dangerous,” Pence said, “and must be prescribed under conditions that ensure proper medical care. This new law helps accomplish that goal.”

Planned Parenthood stated after the bill was signed that they will work with the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana to review the law and possibly challenge it in court.

“The fact is,” said Betty Cockrum, president of Planned Parenthood of Indiana, “non-surgical abortion, the subject of SEA 371, is already highly regulated. This piece of legislation is aimed at one nonsurgical abortion facility in Indiana, our health center in Lafayette.”

“This statute imposes requirements that fail to meet even minimal rationality standards and is, in our estimation, clearly unconstitutional,” said ACLU of Indiana legal director Ken Falk.

Some parts of the new law will take effect in July, but changing the requirements for non-surgical facilities takes effect in 2014.



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