INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A proposed requirement that doctors must try to perform a second ultrasound exam on women after they received abortion-inducing drugs was dropped Monday by the Indiana Senate.
In the bill on abortion pill regulations, doctors still would have to perform an ultrasound exam on the woman before providing the drugs, which opponents say is a step that wrongly interferes in medical decisions between a doctor and patient. The bill also requires doctors to schedule a follow-up visit about two weeks after providing the abortion medication, but the woman is not required to show up.
Senators, in a unanimous voice vote, approved the change in the bill that would force clinics that provide only abortion drugs to have the same facilities and equipment as surgical abortion clinics
Opponents have attacked the bill's ultrasound provisions, saying it would essentially require a transvaginal procedure, though the bill doesn't specify what type of ultrasound must be done.
The proposal faces a full Senate vote on Tuesday, which would then send it to the Republican-controlled House.
Sen. Ron Alting, R-Lafayette, sponsored the move to drop the second ultrasound and replace it with a requirement that doctors perform "appropriate testing." Alting said that would give doctors the option of performing blood or urine tests on their patients.
"I think that physicians know a little bit more about that particular area than legislators," Alting said.
But when asked why his amendment didn't remove the requirement for a pre-drug administration ultrasound, Alting said: "I just know that I didn't have the votes for that to happen."
Republicans turned aside proposed amendments from outnumbered Democrats that would have mandated certain medical exams before a doctor could prescribe erectile dysfunction drugs to men and would have extended requirements for abortion clinic facilities to offices that treat infertility and erectile dysfunction.
The full bill's sponsor, Republican Sen. Travis Holdman of Markle, said he had no objections to removing the requirement for the second ultrasound but that he believed the first one was essential to help prevent the possibility of severe complications if a woman with a tubal pregnancy was given abortion-inducing drugs.