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Bill for tougher Ind. abortion pill law advances

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 20, 2013 at 5:46 pm •  Published: February 20, 2013

The proposal now goes to the full Senate for consideration and would also need to pass the House, both of which are controlled by Republicans. Conservative legislators in 2011 pushed through a law that cut off some state funding to Planned Parenthood, but federal courts have blocked it from taking effect.

Most states already have the same clinic regulations for those providing medical or surgical abortions, with Indiana among six states with current regulations only on surgical abortion sites, according to the New York-based Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit group that does research on reproductive health.

Indiana Right to Life questioned last year whether the Lafayette clinic was meeting the state abortion clinic standards and began pushing for the broader definition.

Sen. Travis Holdman, the bill's sponsor, said all clinics providing regular abortion services should be held to the same health and safety standards. He said he was comfortable exempting physician offices from the requirements because most of those doctors will be dealing with their regular patients.

"They are going to know what the history of that patient is," said Holdman, R-Markle. "I think there's just natural follow-up that's going to occur if it's the primary physician, so I'm not sure that we need to put the same burden on them."

Stutsman, the Planned Parenthood official, said the group didn't know yet what changes it would have to make to the Lafayette clinic if the proposal became law.

He said the requirement to perform ultrasounds was an intrusion into how doctors deal with their patients and would lead to unnecessary procedures.

"It is the physician who needs to look at all the clinical findings to determine the care of the patient so we can guarantee her utmost safety," he said.