Government
4:35 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

IN attorney general expects lawmakers to consider changes to abortion clinic license law

A request to investigate the Planned Parenthood of Indiana clinic in Lafayette likely will result in legislative action.

Indiana Right to Life asked Attorney General Greg Zoeller to look into whether the Lafayette facility was illegally performing abortions.

The clinic performs medication or chemical abortions, but not surgical procedures.

Zoeller says because Right to Life is not a governmental agency, he cannot initiate such an investigation. He says since the request was made two months ago, he’s heard from several lawmakers who want more information on the situation and the current law.

“Really, looking to see whether there’s a gap in the legislative coverage, if there are risks. So, I know there’s some discussion among legislators in the General Assembly and the department of health. Some of these issues will be brought up in the next session, is my guess.”

The state department of health’s website states a free-standing entity that performs surgical abortion procedures must be licensed as an abortion clinic.

Zoeller says the current law does not include clinics performing medication or chemical abortions. He says any changes likely will depend on input from the Indiana Department of Health.

“What are the risks to women with a chemical abortion? What is the proper legislative response in terms of a regulatory scheme?”

Sue Swayze, Indiana Right to Life legislative director, says better oversight is needed.

“Was there the usual regimen of health and safety standards, medical standards, women health protections as there are in other places?”

Tina Noel, Planned Parenthood of Indiana media relations coordinator, says they are following the law and do not expect lawmakers to make changes to the abortion facility licensing law next session.

“We expect the state legislature to focus on what they campaigned on. That was to grow Indiana’s economy and to boost its education.”

However, Swayze says the law needs to be updated to include all types of abortion.

“That’s something that I think our lawmakers are interested in. This is a new frontier of the abortion industry.”

Swayze says Right to Life is putting together its legislative agenda for the coming session and this is one issue being considered.