INDIANAPOLIS (WLFI) - A bill that could impact the Lafayette Planned Parenthood took a step forward in the Indiana Statehouse. But an area lawmaker who sponsors the bill said a possibly restrictive requirement has been dropped.
A bill currently in the Indiana House would require clinics that offer abortion drugs to meet the same requirements as clinics that perform surgical abortions. The only clinic affected is the Planned Parenthood in Lafayette, which doesn't perform surgical abortions but offers the abortion pill RU-486.
"We've been safely providing medication abortion at that facility for about two years now," said Liz Carroll of Planned Parenthood.
RU-486 is a pill used to induce an abortion for a woman who is no more than seven weeks along.
The new bill would require the Lafayette Planned Parenthood to meet surgical standards that are so expensive the clinic would most likely stop offering the abortion pill. President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana Betty Cockrum said if that happens, women may find other, unhealthy ways to abort a baby.
"Non-surgical abortion is very safe, with the rate of 'adverse events' less than two tenths of one percent. If the Lafayette health center is no longer able to provide non-surgical abortion, women will turn to less safe options like the Internet to obtain the necessary medications," said Cockrum.
The House Public Policy Committee approved the bill Wednesday, after hearing from supporters and opponents.
State Representative Sharon Negele (R-13) sponsored the bill in the House and said a bill amendment removes the requirement that a physician has to perform an ultrasound.
"It is up to the physician whether it's a requirement or not. But mind you that, in order to have a medical abortion, a doctor must have to assess the gestational age of the baby to determine the appropriate use," said Negele.
Negele said from 7-9 weeks, there has been an off-label use of the drug and it still works. She said the pill would not be given to woman more than nine weeks pregnant without FDA approval. She said these are all the right steps to keep women safe during the abortion process.
The committee vote was 8-5, with one Republican voting against the bill. The bill will now head to the full House floor for further consideration.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) proposed a pre-K voucher program as part of his 2014 agenda. The program would give underprivileged children access to pre-K programs.
Several generations gathered Saturday to remember a day that will live in infamy. The day marked 72 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Almost Home is holding an open house with special adoption deals.