2013 Indiana General Assembly

Ind. Senate's abortion ultrasound proposal draws national criticism

2013-02-22T19:15:00Z 2013-02-22T19:17:05Z Ind. Senate's abortion ultrasound proposal draws national criticismBy Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com
February 22, 2013 7:15 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | Legislation to regulate pill-induced abortions similarly to surgical abortions in Indiana has prompted national criticism, because the measure could lead to some abortion-seeking women undergoing two ultrasounds.

MNSBC host Rachel Maddow blasted Republican Gov. Mike Pence on Thursday, asking if he wants to be known as "Governor Ultrasound" and see his national ambitions derailed as they were for Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell in 2012 when state lawmakers in Virginia considered legislation requiring a pre-abortion ultrasound.

"This time with 100 percent more vaginal probing!" Maddow said.

Indiana law currently requires an abortion clinic doctor or staffer inform a woman prior to an abortion that the woman is entitled to receive an ultrasound, look at the ultrasound image and listen to the fetal heart tone, if audible.

A woman can waive the ultrasound image-viewing and heart tone-listening by signing a form.

Senate Bill 371, approved 7-5 by a Senate committee Wednesday, requires a doctor administering a pill-induced abortion to conduct a pre-abortion ultrasound.

The legislation also requires the doctor schedule a post-abortion appointment to confirm, using ultrasound imaging, that the pregnancy was completely terminated.

There is no penalty in the legislation for a woman who skips that post-abortion appointment.

The type of ultrasound imaging, whether a vaginal probe or "jelly-on-the-belly" style, is not specified in the proposal.

State Sen. Travis Holdman, R-Markle, said the ultrasound requirement is in the legislation to determine whether a woman seeking a pill-induced abortion is eligible to receive one based on the gestational age of the fetus.

Pill-induced abortions should not be performed beyond nine weeks of pregnancy, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

The second ultrasound is intended to ensure the pill-induced abortion was successful, the legislation says.

Critics of pre-abortion ultrasound requirements claim they are a medically unnecessary roadblock to obtaining a legal medical procedure.

Senate Bill 371, in addition to the ultrasound mandate, requires health clinics that distribute abortion-inducing pills meet the same building and equipment standards as clinics that perform surgical abortions.

Upgrade costs would likely limit distribution of abortion pills to facilities that currently perform surgical abortions.

The full Senate will consider amendments to the legislation on Monday.

A final vote by the Republican-controlled Senate to send the proposal to the Republican-controlled House is expected on Tuesday.

Pence has not announced his position on the legislation but previously has said he will sign into law any "pro-life" measure that makes it to his desk.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Featured Businesses

Poll

Loading…

Do you blame railroads for blocking the Gary/Chicago International Airport expansion?

View Results