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Indiana GOP Moves Closer To Mandating Invasive Ultrasounds For Women Taking The Abortion Pill

By Tara Culp-Ressler on February 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm

"Indiana GOP Moves Closer To Mandating Invasive Ultrasounds For Women Taking The Abortion Pill"

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The Indiana senate advanced a measure on Tuesday to require all women to undergo an unnecessary, and potentially invasive, ultrasound procedure before taking the RU-486 abortion pill.

The original version of the bill actually mandated two tranvaginal ultrasounds — before and after women took the pill. Yesterday, before the Senate vote, GOP lawmakers agreed to remove the second ultrasound requirement to ensure the legislation’s passage. Their efforts were successful. Despite bipartisan opposition as four Republican state senators broke from the rest of their party to oppose SB 371, the measure will now advance to the GOP-controlled House:

The bill passed on a 33-16 vote despite a chorus of complaints from opponents who said it’s a step too far into doctors’’offices without improving their patients’ health.

“This bill is not about patient safety. It’s about patient harassment,” said Sen. Vaneta Becker of Evansville, who was one of only four of the Senate’s 37 Republicans to join the 12 Democrats who opposed the bill.

Now, Senate Bill 371 heads to the House, where Republican Speaker Brian Bosma of Indianapolis said he expects it to win passage as well — perhaps after some changes.

And this legislation has another anti-choice provision tucked into it, too. SB 371 also seeks to over-regulate abortion providers — requiring health clinics that prescribe the abortion pill to adhere to all of the same standards as surgical clinics, even though medication abortions are not surgical procedures — which threatens to shut down a Planned Parenthood clinic in the state.

“This bill is directly targeted to Planned Parenthood in Lafayette,” state Sen. Becker (R) pointed out in the debate on the floor. “When you do this, you’re not doing anything that will improve the health and safety of low-income women in the state of Indiana. All you’re doing is forcing them to go other ways — in particular, to the Internet — to get this same particular drug that you’re talking about regulating.”

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