2013 Indiana General Assembly

Governor set to sign new restrictions on abortion-inducing drugs

2013-04-11T13:19:00Z 2013-04-12T00:17:06Z Governor set to sign new restrictions on abortion-inducing drugsBy Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com

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.

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