Controversial abortion bill wins approval

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana State Senate voted in favor of a controversial abortion bill Tuesday.  It creates new regulations for use of the abortion pill known as RU-486.  One of those regulations involves a potentially invasive procedure.

The vote in the state Senate was 33-to-16 for the measure that will now go to the Indiana House.  The bill dictates that a clinic dispensing the abortion drug must meet the same guidelines as clinics that perform surgical abortions.

One of those guidelines is the performance of a fetal ultrasound, and that's the focus of most of the debate. 

"It does not require that this be what you've heard in the press and discussed about," said author Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Marle) "a transvaginal ultrasound."

Opponents of the bill don't buy that. 

"My understanding is the abortion inducing drug only works up to 9 weeks," said Sen. Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) "and the only way you can have any clarity in what's happening during that period is to do that very invasive ultrasound."

Those opponents also argue that women can still buy RU-486 over the Internet. They claim the bill is aimed at closing a Planned Parenthood clinic in Lafayette and would force women seeking an abortion to pursue more risky behavior.

House Speaker Brian Bosma said today that the bill will get a hearing in a House committee.

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