2013 Indiana General Assembly

Male ultrasound plan has difficult time in House

2013-04-01T23:45:00Z Male ultrasound plan has difficult time in HouseBy Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com
April 01, 2013 11:45 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | Hoosier men won't have to undergo penile ultrasounds prior to obtaining prescriptions for erectile dysfunction drugs thanks to a narrow reading of the Indiana House rules Monday.

During debate on Senate Bill 371, mandating women seeking a pill-induced or surgical abortion have a pre-procedure ultrasound, state Rep. Shelli VanDenburgh, D-Crown Point, proposed changing the legislation to hold men to a similar standard.

"We're basically saying that a woman needs to be poked and prodded for no real reason, except for the possibility changing her mind or guilting her into keeping a child that she probably cannot afford and does not want," VanDenburgh said. "(This) would level the playing field."

She proposed requiring doctors perform penile ultrasounds on men to check blood flow and determine whether an erectile dysfunction drug would resolve their condition.

"It would actually be to their benefit to undergo this procedure rather than attempt to take the medications and have them not work," VanDenburgh said.

State Rep. Jerry Torr, R-Carmel, objected to VanDenburgh's proposal. He claimed it violated a House rule requiring proposed changes relate specifically to the underlying legislation.

Acting House Speaker Eric Turner, R-Cicero, agreed with Torr and ruled VanDenburgh's proposal out of order.

She argued, to no avail, that since a man and woman are both needed to produce a pregnancy the topic was relevant.

The House is likely to vote today on the measure, which would compel the remodeling of a Lafayette clinic distributing abortion-inducing pills to meet the same facility standards as clinics that perform surgical abortions.

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