Chemical Abortion Bill Passes House Public Policy Committee

March 27, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS – Today, Senate Bill (SB) 371 passed the Indiana House Public Policy Committee by a vote of 8-5. SB 371 introduces health and safety standards into the chemical abortion industry that currently lacks state oversight.

SB 371 requires that chemical abortion facilities meet the same licensing requirements that other abortion facilities are subject to. The requirements deal with reporting standards, physician oversight, cleanliness standards and building accessibility.

When chemical abortion drugs are used up to nine weeks of pregnancy, past the Food and Drug Administration’s seven-week guideline, complication rates drastically rise. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the failure rate of the chemical abortion drug is 8 percent at 7 weeks, but the failure rises to 23 percent at 9 weeks. When the abortion is incomplete, facilities needs to be prepared to deal with a woman experiencing uncontrollable bleeding, infection or other potential side effects of the abortion drug. The licensing requirements in SB 371 will establish that chemical abortion facilities maintain an environment appropriate for dealing with these conditions.

During the committee hearing, SB 371 was amended to include informed consent provisions, change the date by which facilities must have licensing, remove ultrasound requirements and prohibit the Indiana State Department of Health from grandfathering facilities that were not given grandfathered status in previous laws.

“We applaud the House Public Policy Committee for prioritizing women’s health in Indiana,” said Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “While not all the amendments that passed were supported by Indiana Right to Life, we’re pleased that SB 371 brings crucial oversight to the chemical abortion industry. SB 371 strengthens current abortion law in Indiana by not allowing any abortion facility to operate without oversight.”

SB 371, was authored by Sen. Travis Holdman (District 19) in the Senate and it passed on Feb. 26, by a vote of 33 to 16. Reps. Sharon Negele (District 13), Bob Morris (District 84) and Matthew Lehman (District 79) are sponsors of SB 371 in the Indiana House. With today’s committee passage, SB 371 can now advance to a vote in the Indiana House.

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.

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