INDIANAPOLIS | Hoosier women may find it more difficult to legally obtain abortion-inducing pills after the Indiana Senate voted Thursday for new restrictions on their use and the clinics that distribute them.
Senate Bill 371 was approved 35-14, with two Democrats joining all but three Republicans in voting yes. It previously cleared the Republican-controlled House, 70-26, and now goes to Republican Gov. Mike Pence who has said he'll sign it into law.
The legislation treats currently unregulated abortion-inducing drugs, such as RU-486, the same as surgical abortions by requiring women seeking either type of abortion to undergo a pre-procedure ultrasound and receive a state-designed "informed consent" brochure featuring color photos of fetuses at various stages of development.
In addition, clinics that provide abortion-inducing pills would have to comply with the same state-mandated building and equipment standards as facilities that perform surgical abortions, including extra-wide hallways and doors, a scrub room, oversize examination rooms, and a bathroom and drinking fountain in the waiting room.
The sponsor of the legislation, state Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, who previously said his religious convictions prompted it, said Thursday the measure is intended to safeguard women's health.
State Sen. Vaneta Becker, R-Evansville, said the proposal actually endangers women by making them more likely to turn to unregulated Internet pharmacies to obtain abortion-inducing drugs, instead of jumping through the hoops this measure requires.