(AP) — Indiana clinics that provide only abortion drugs would face the
same requirements as those where surgical abortions are performed under
a proposal approved Wednesday by a state legislative committee.
approved by the Senate's health committee in a 7-5 vote would also
require doctors to have ultrasound examinations conducted on women
before providing any drugs to cause abortions.
provisions covering clinics that provide abortion pills would require
them to have surgery facilities and equipment and resuscitation
equipment, such as defibrillators, even if surgical abortions aren't
conducted there. The bill exempts physician offices from any extra
regulations even if those doctors sometimes prescribe abortion pills.
Stutsman, the medical director of Planned Parenthood of Indiana, said a
clinic the group operates in Lafayette is believed to be the only
location that would be affected by the regulation changes.
abortion clinics are currently licensed around the state, including
three run by Planned Parenthood, according to state records.
of the increased regulations maintain abortion pills sometimes lead to
health problems for which the prescribing clinic must be prepared and
have the proper facilities.
need to have all that to hand pills over," Indiana Right to Life
legislative director Sue Swayze said. But she said complications are
more common with drug-induced abortions and "that's when they're going
to need to follow through with their care" of a patient.
Sen. Vaneta Becker of Evansville joined committee Democrats in
questioning how the additional clinic restrictions would benefit health
care for women.
"We have a
billion-dollar surplus and we're not doing anything to increase funding
for mental health, we aren't doing anything to increase funding for more
care for low-income women," Becker said. "This bill definitely limits
access to safe and affordable health care for low-income women."
now goes to the full Senate for consideration and would also need to
pass the House, both of which are controlled by Republicans.
Conservative legislators in 2011 pushed through a law that cut off some
state funding to Planned Parenthood, but federal courts have blocked it
from taking effect.
already have the same clinic regulations for those providing medical or
surgical abortions, with Indiana among six states with current
regulations only on surgical abortion sites, according to the New
York-based Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit group that does research on
Right to Life questioned last year whether the Lafayette clinic was
meeting the state abortion clinic standards and began pushing for the
Holdman, the bill's sponsor, said all clinics providing regular abortion
services should be held to the same health and safety standards. He said
he was comfortable exempting physician offices from the requirements
because most of those doctors will be dealing with their regular
going to know what the history of that patient is," said Holdman, R-Markle.
"I think there's just natural follow-up that's going to occur if it's
the primary physician, so I'm not sure that we need to put the same
burden on them."
the Planned Parenthood official, said the group didn't know yet what
changes it would have to make to the Lafayette clinic if the proposal
He said the
requirement to perform ultrasounds was an intrusion into how doctors
deal with their patients and would lead to unnecessary procedures.
"It is the
physician who needs to look at all the clinical findings to determine
the care of the patient so we can guarantee her utmost safety," he said.