Indiana abortion regulations bill watered down
By SUMMER BALLENTINE The Associated Press February 25, 2014 12:20PM
Updated: February 25, 2014 5:16PM
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana lawmakers advanced a measure Tuesday that would require abortion providers to give the state documentation proving that the doctors who perform the abortions have admitting privileges at a hospital or a written agreement with a doctor who does.
Before voting 9-1 in favor of sending the measure for consideration by the full chamber, though, the House Public Policy Committee amended the bill to keep confidential the names the partnering physicians. Abortion rights proponents were concerned that such doctors could face harassment if their names were made public.
Supporters of the measure say the reporting requirement would increase accountability and oversight of abortion providers.
“Literally these agreements could be a handshake over a punch bowl at a Christmas party,” said former state Rep. Cindy Noe, who is now a spokeswoman for Indiana Right to Life. “You do not have a trail that can be followed to make sure the law is being complied with.”
Clinics also would have to give patients the contact information for the hospital and give patients the number of an emergency phone line at the facility available for consultation 24 hours a day.
The bill has been watered down several times. Previous versions would have expanded building code requirements for some clinics and mandated annual clinic inspections.