INDIANAPOLIS - Today, the Indiana Senate passed two bills supported by Indiana Right to Life, SB 489 and SB 371. SB 489 allows a woman seeking an abortion to opt out of hearing the fetal heart tone and seeing an ultrasound of her preborn baby prior to termination and it provides her with medical information about the abortion procedure. SB 371 corrects a major oversight in Indiana law by requiring health and safety standards at chemical abortion facilities. Both bills now go to the Indiana House for consideration.
Currently, chemical abortions are being performed at Planned Parenthood's Lafayette facility without any state inspection or licensing requirements. This means that no one at the Indiana State Department of Health knows if a doctor is present at the Lafayette Planned Parenthood facility, how the gestational age and position of the baby in the uterus is being determined, if abortions on girls under 14 are being reported to child protective services or if the structure of the building allows ambulance crews to access a patient in the unfortunate case of an emergency.
Abortion-inducing drugs carry serious risks as detailed by the manufacturer and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. As of April 2011 according to the FDA, 14 U.S. women died after a chemical abortion and more than two thousand adverse chemical abortion complications have been reported.
SB 371's requirement that abortion providers perform an ultrasound before doing a chemical abortion is a safeguard against the next chemical abortion death occurring in Indiana. An ultrasound verifies the unborn baby is less than 9 weeks old and that it is not an ectopic, or "tubal," pregnancy. Taking an abortion-inducing drug while experiencing an ectopic pregnancy will rapidly lead to a life-threatening situation.
"We thank our senators for addressing a major issue for women's health and safety," said Becky Rogness, Communications Director for Indiana Right to Life. "SB 371 will require Planned Parenthood in Lafayette to become a licensed abortion facility like other Indiana abortion facilities. Once SB 371 is signed into law, abortion-seeking women will not have to wonder if basic standards in care are being met. Lawmakers are not 'playing doctor' as some have claimed but are rather correcting a flaw in current law. This legislation also prevents new chemical abortion facilities from opening for business without being regulated and licensed.
"SB 371 requires a common sense ultrasound to be performed before the abortion. According to Planned Parenthood's website, ultrasounds are already performed by them as part of their chemical abortion protocol so it's surprising they oppose this requirement in SB 371. Furthermore, SB 371 does not mandate what type of ultrasound is performed. The doctor performing the abortion will decide what type of ultrasound is most effective."
Indiana Right to Life recently produced a video with Indiana OBGYN, Dr. Geoffrey Cly, explaining that either a vaginal or abdominal ultrasound can determine the location of the preborn baby in an early pregnancy.
SB 371 passed the Indiana Senate by a vote of 33 to 16. SB 489 passed by a vote of 40 to 10.
Click here for the FDA's Adverse Events Summary through April 30, 2011.
Click here to watch Dr. Geoffrey Cly, OBGYN explain ectopic pregnancies and the different types of ultrasounds.
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.