Senate committee wants stricter regulation on abortion drug

Feb 20, 2013

Proposed legislation that passed a Senate committee Wednesday places stricter regulation on the dispensing of the abortion-inducing drug known as RU-486 and the clinics that provide it. 

Clinics that dispense RU-486 would be required to have the same facilities as a surgical abortion center, including access to anesthesia, surgical equipment and specific door and room sizes.  Any physicians or facilities that do not typically dispense RU-486 would be exempt.  Evansville Republican Senator Vaneta Becker said the bill will make it harder for women to safely access abortion-inducing drugs.

“All this bill’s going to do is to encourage low-income women to go the Internet, that way there won’t be any type of follow-up care for them if they have a crisis,” said Becker.

Indiana Right to Life legislative director Sue Swayze said that’s not the goal of the bill.  She said what she wants is the best reproductive care for Hoosier women.

“What I heard in there was, ‘She might go over the border, she might go on the Internet, religious freedom, etc.  We’d rather have lower standards than let her do those other things.’  In other words, I don’t hear, ‘Yes, we will adhere to higher standards,'" Swayze said.

Supporters and opponents of the bill said they know of only one Indiana facility that would be affected, a Planned Parenthood clinic in Lafayette.  But Swayze said with the use of RU-486 increasing, the bill would ensure more clinics don’t dispense the drug without the proper facilities.