Ultrasound mandate dropped from Indiana abortion drug bill

House committee removes provision

INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana lawmakers are dropping a proposal requiring that clinics offering the abortion pill perform ultrasounds on women seeking the drug.

A House committee removed that provision Wednesday from a broader bill that would force clinics that provide only drug-induced abortions to meet the same facility requirements as clinics that perform surgical abortions. The committee voted 8-5 to advance the bill to the full House.

Planned Parenthood calls those facility requirements unnecessary and says they could force it to stop providing the abortion pill at its Lafayette clinic.

Indiana Right to Life president Mike Fichter says the group agreed with the decision to drop the ultrasound requirement because debate over it in the state Senate had taken focus away from its goal of tightening regulations on clinics that provide abortions.

Opponents are upset by wording in the amended bill that they believe would make the names of abortion doctors available on the Internet, although there is disagreement about whether it really requires that.

"The danger is that what we've seen in the past in other states where doctors not only are harassed, but sometimes injured or there have even been deaths when people who go to extremes and believe that this doctor should be eliminated," said Sue Errington, D-Muncie.

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