Tighter abortion pill rules head to Ind. governor

INDIANAPOLIS - A bill that would tighten Indiana's regulations on distribution of the abortion pill and clinics that provide only drug-induced abortions is on its way to Republican Gov. Mike Pence.

The state Senate voted 35-14 Thursday to give final legislative approval to the bill. Pence has said he supports the bill and expects to sign it into law.

The bill would require clinics that provide only drug-induced abortions to meet the same standards as clinics that perform surgical abortions.

Opponents said the additional standards are unnecessary and are aimed at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Lafayette, which is the only non-surgical abortion site in the state.

Planned Parenthood has said that it isn't financially feasible to make the change and would force it to stop providing abortions at that clinic.

Legislators dropped from the bill earlier provisions aimed at having doctors perform two ultrasounds on women seeking the abortion drugs.

The bill's sponsors said they are concerned about the safety of the patients, but those who oppose the bill claim that's a ruse to make abortions harder to get.

"I think if you read the testimony in the House committee, you would understand that it is about a woman's safety in the administration of this drug," said Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle.

"What you're doing with this piece of legislation is making it much more difficult for a woman who has been raped, who has been a victim of incest, or a woman whose life is at stake, make it much more difficult for them to have access to needed abortions in those cases," said Sen. Vaneta Becker, R-Evansville.

The original language of the bill would also have subjected women to two invasive ultrasounds to obtain the drug. That has been reduced to one, and there is no legal requirement that she look at it.

Follow Norman Cox on Twitter: @normancox6

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