Indiana lawmakers get back to work this week for the second half of their legislative session. Besides the budget bill, roughly 200 other measures are being considered in the House and Senate between now and the April 29th deadline.
Representative Randy Truitt (R-West Lafayette) says there are a number of education-related bills still up for debate.
The Indiana Senate approved a measure that makes changes to the way drug-induced abortions are administered.
The vote of 33-to-16 also would require the Planned Parenthood facility in Lafayette to meet abortion clinic requirements. The local center does not offer surgical abortions. A Planned Parenthood spokesperson says that center is in full compliance with all laws and regulations applicable to non-surgical abortion.
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. Those clinics 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.
Senator Vaneta Becker (R-Evansville) says the bill will make it harder for women to safely access abortion-inducing drugs.
Indiana Right to Life is calling for an investigation into the Lafayette Planned Parenthood clinic. The organization says abortions are being performed inside the health care facility, even though it is not inspected or licensed by the state as an abortion clinic.
The Lafayette facility offers medication abortions.
Right to Life member Connie Basham admits to not being sure if the licensing law covers these procedures and surgical abortions. She says they have asked the attorney general to clarify that as part of the investigation.
A bill passed by a state senate committee would tell doctors how to administer medications they use to perform abortions. However, some doctors disagree with the legislatively-prescribed protocol.
The bill mandates that drugs used in so-called chemical abortions be administered according to Food and Drug Administration guidelines only. But some physicians say they prefer using evidence-based, off-label practices, while the F.D.A. protocol requires a dose three times higher than those doctors prefer using.