Chemical Abortion Bill Does Not Mandate Type of Ultrasound

February 21, 2013

Ultrasound Already Required in Indiana Law for Surgical Abortions;
Abortion Educators Recommend Ultrasound before Chemical Abortions


Yesterday, the Indiana Senate Health and Provider Services Committee heard and passed SB 371, which requires chemical abortion providers to follow the same standards as surgical abortion providers. Some are reporting that the bill requires a specific type of ultrasound even though it does not. The specific language of SB 371 reads as follows:

“Conduct ultrasound imaging or oversee fetal ultrasound imaging by an individual who is licensed or certified in Indiana and whose scope of practice within the licensure or certification includes conducting ultrasound imaging.”

An ultrasound prior to any type of abortion is necessary to make sure women’s health and safety needs are met. For both surgical and chemical abortions, the abortionist needs to determine the preborn baby’s gestational age. An ultrasound plays a critical role in chemical abortions because it verifies a woman is not experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, or “tubal pregnancy.” Taking the chemical abortion pill during an ectopic pregnancy is highly dangerous to the woman and can result in death.

Additionally, an ultrasound allows the abortionist to determine the gestational age of the preborn baby. Both the manufacturer of a major abortion-inducing drug and the Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandate that chemical abortions are not performed past nine weeks gestational age. Miscalculating the preborn baby’s age because of a lack of an ultrasound puts the mother at unnecessary medical risk.

Even the National Abortion Federation wrote in its 2012 Clinical Guidelines regarding chemical abortion, “Sonography avoids underestimation of gestational age, helps confirm complete abortion, and assists in the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy.”

Chemical abortions carry serious risks, thus requiring the same state oversight as surgical abortions. In fact, in a report published by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, compared to surgical abortions, chemical abortions carry a higher likelihood of hemorrhage, incomplete procedure and surgical reevacuation.

“SB 371 places an emphasis on Hoosier women’s health and safety,” said Sue Swayze, Legislative Director for Indiana Right to Life. “An ultrasound is the appropriate way to rule out a potentially life-threatening complication that could be caused by taking the chemical abortion pill. Indiana law already requires ultrasounds before surgical abortions so SB 371 will apply state standards of health and safety at all abortion facilities.”
Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.



  1. Dianne says:

    Once you start changing laws to allow the state to force procedures on women regarding their bodies and pregnancy… can eventually be used against you. You are giving the state permission to impose their will on a woman’s body. Who is to say they won’t use it to force women to have abortions one day? Think that will never happen? 200 years ago the idea of a black president was unthinkable. Watch what you ask for.
    Everything you are doing is to stop abortion. What are you doing to assist unwanted children?

  2. Sarah says:

    The bill mandates ultrasound imaging before and after a medical abortion, which are done under 12 weeks and can be as early as one week. This would require a transvaginal ultrasound as abdominals are ineffective imaging at this time. So the bill DOES mandate two transvaginal ultrasounds, and you have to apparently lie to your supporters to get them behind it. Because lying to women and forcing unnecessary medical procedures on them is just like protecting them.

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