House committee approves abortion pill restrictions

INDIANAPOLIS – A bill that would create tougher regulations for clinics prescribing abortion-inducing drugs passed a House committee Wednesday.

Senate Bill 371 would require clinics dispensing the drugs to meet the same standards as a surgical abortion center. The bill, which already passed the Senate, was approved by the House Public Policy Committee in an 8-5 vote.

Planned Parenthood said the requirements would force them to shut down some of their operations at their clinic in Lafayette, but other Planned Parenthood facilities would be “grandfathered in,” and would not face the same restrictions.

“(The bill) would cut back on access,” said Liz Carroll of Planned Parenthood. “(And) force women to make choices that may not be in their best interest, including purchasing medication on the Internet.”

Lawmakers added amendments to the bill that specified patients could only be prescribed an abortion-inducing drug up to the ninth week of pregnancy unless the FDA said otherwise. The bill would also take effect six months later than originally proposed, giving clinics more time to comply. Rules requiring an additional ultrasound before the procedure were dropped from the original bill.

Some opponents wondered if the bill should have been heard by a different committee instead.

“This is a health issue, this is a women’s health issue,” said Kristin Hollister, who showed up to testify against the bill. “Why aren’t we dealing with this in a health committee?”

One supporter read a letter from a woman name Leslie, who took the abortion inducing drug RU-486 when she was 21 years old.

“Nothing could have prepared me for what I would experience or the emotional pain I would carry with me for years,” Leslie wrote. “I was crying hysterically and begging to die because the pain was more than I could handle.”

In fact, the bill’s sponsor said women have died from the drug – a key reason why she’s pushing for more protection for patients.

“Of the 14 deaths, and many may say that is a very low statistic, but you tell that to a parent who lost a daughter,” said Rep. Sharon Negele, R-Attica. “I don’t think that’s an acceptable statistic and I want to see that improved upon.”

Opponents of the bill told the committee the regulations could have the reverse effect.

“(The bill) is not about protecting women,” said Reba Wooden of the Center for Inquiry. “By making legal and safe abortion less accessible, it is endangering the health of women. By making it harder to get a medication abortion it will drive women to the Internet to obtain medications that have no doctor oversight.”

“There are about a million and a half women who have taken this medication,” said Carroll. “14 deaths have occurred over 11 years, so I think we can say the number of serious adverse events is pretty small.”

“The more we have small piddly bills like this eat away at women’s access to proper health care, it’s very upsetting,” said Hollister.

13 comments

  • Todd

    There is no separation of church and state in Indiana. We're governed by God and nutjobs. Oh, and by the way, I do believe in God.

  • Angel

    Don't have sex if you are not ready for the consequences. Using protection or not.
    If a woman is raped, there are millions of people who would jump at the chance to adopt.
    It's just my opinion but I sure appreciate that my mom didn't abort me. I wouldn't have the
    amazing kids I do now.

    • James38

      I can understand if there is something wrong with the baby, and living would be torture. Other than that I agree with you completely.

      • Guest

        We live in a world where people just don't take responsibility for their actions anymore. More than half of the woman who get abortions, go on to regret it later in life. If the concern here is that it's endangering woman who go to look for drugs on line or on the street, then who cares about those woman anyways.

      • Indulge

        I understand there is always certain circumstances where it is the best thing to do for the mother AND the baby, but just because it hasn't been born yet, does not mean it is not a human life, with a heart beat.

  • MeatPlow

    RU 486 is the worst thing anyone could have ever decided to mass manufacture and market. It's obscene and insane.

    "here take this pill and kill your baby, i mean problem"

  • RodgerRobot

    Senate Bill 371 would require clinics dispensing the drugs to meet the same standards as a surgical abortion center. So if the baby still is alive it is ok to wack the child with a hammer??????
    Dear Lord help these people realize this is a child not a legal oponion,

  • Gsm

    Tell you what women. Be responsible. You know what it takes to prevent this .
    either don't do it or prevent it. Ball is in Your court.

  • RodgerRobot

    Gay,, Abortion,, free sex all liberal thinking to give you something that feels good then control you.
    What happened to getting Married because you wanted to have a FAMILY??????

  • Sheri

    There are many stories and different ones per situation. So, ones experience is not another person's experience, for that matter let us leave people to choose. Choice gives you an opportunity to weigh what is right for you. Using laws to stop abortion only pushes it underground, like drugs. It only makes it more dangerous as opposed to stopping it.

  • Ronado

    The most prominet voice in all this should be the women's voice. Unfortunately it is men who are talking most about an issue they know very little about. Women choose termination because they can not continue with the pregnancy.

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