Ind. Senate drops 2nd required abortion ultrasound

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 25, 2013 at 7:04 pm •  Published: February 25, 2013
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Holdman said doctors had told him that abdominal ultrasounds were typically sufficient and he believed opponents' claims that a transvaginal procedure would be required were "a lot of hype."

In Virginia, a proposal to give women seeking abortions a transvaginal sonogram was withdrawn last year after it met widespread opposition.

Eight other states currently have laws mandating some form of pre-abortion ultrasound exam, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which researches abortion-related issues.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana President Betty Cockrum said that senators were "continuing to practice medicine without a license" by including the ultrasound requirement.

"Because nonsurgical abortions are performed so early in a pregnancy, so as a diagnostic tool it is much more likely that a doctor is going to use a transvaginal probe than not," Cockrum said.

Becky Rogness, spokeswoman for Indiana Right to Life, said the anti-abortion group was satisfied with the bill even without the second ultrasound provision.

"We feel like it was stronger with that requirement, but it's still a huge improvement for women's health and safety," Rogness said. "We are eager to see it go through a pro-life House and make it to the governor's desk."

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. Republican Gov. Mike Pence unsuccessfully pushed a similar federal defunding proposal in 2011 while he was in Congress.

Cockrum said the bill's provision on clinic regulations would likely force Planned Parenthood to stop providing abortion pill services at its Lafayette clinic, which is believed to be the only location that would be affected by the regulation changes.

Nine abortion clinics are licensed in Indiana, including three run by Planned Parenthood, according to state records.