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Abortion Drug Bill Finalized, Heads to Pence

Legislation regulating the abortion-inducing drug known as RU-486 is headed to the governor’s desk after the Senate approved changes made in the House.

The original legislation required women receiving RU-486 to undergo an ultrasound prior to receiving the drug.  Changes made in the House allow women to opt-out of viewing the ultrasound or listening to the fetal heartbeat. 

The bill also requires abortion clinics that only dispense the drug to adhere to stricter surgical standards, such as door and room size. That requirement could force one Indiana facility – a Planned Parenthood clinic in Lafayette – to stop dispensing RU-486. 

Evansville Republican Vaneta Becker says the legislation will make it harder for women to receive the drug under a doctor’s care.

“What this bill will do is encourage women, low income women in particular, to go to the internet where they can avoid all this,” Becker said. “They will be able to buy the drug right off the internet but they won’t have access to a physician.”

But Markle Republican Travis Holdman, the bill’s author, says the measure regulates a drug that needs state oversight.

“It is about a woman’s safety in the administration of this drug,” Holdman said.

The bill now heads to the governor’s desk.  Governor Mike Pence did not comment specifically on the bill when asked if he would sign it but reaffirmed his strong pro-life views.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.