Indiana Senate passes RU-486 bill

Feb. 26, 2013 at 6:36 PM

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- A bill requiring women to have ultrasounds before being prescribed the abortion drug RU-486 passed the Indiana Senate late Tuesday afternoon.

The measure now goes to the state House, The Indianapolis Star reported. If it becomes law, clinics that only provide chemical abortions would have to meet the same standards as those offering surgical procedures.

On Monday, the Senate dropped a requirement that women have ultrasounds after taking RU-486 as well as beforehand. Democrats also offered amendments that would have added new requirements for men seeking treatment for erectile dysfunction or getting vasectomies.

Critics of the bill say that in the early weeks of pregnancy only transvaginal ultrasounds, which require a probe inserted into a woman's vagina, are reliable. The Star said doctors it consulted agreed, but Sen. Travis Holdman, the bill's Republican sponsor, said he has been told by several doctors that is untrue.

Most Democrats opposed the bill, with Sen. Jean Breaux saying it was "dictated by a majority of men." One Republican senator, Vaneta Becker, said the measure is aimed at a clinic in Lafayette and threatens services for low-income women in her district.

"This bill is not about patient safety," Becker said. "It's about patient harassment."

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