Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky (PPINK) is suing the State of Indiana, arguing that a piece of legislation passed earlier this year (SEA 371) singles out one health center in Lafayette. PPINK calls the new regulations discriminatory and unconstitutional.
“The additional restrictions in this new law are in no way related to patient safety,” said Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of PPINK. “This law is clearly part of a coordinated national effort to end access to safe, legal abortion by trying to shut down Planned Parenthood health care centers.”
Governor Mike Pence signed an abortion drug regulation measure he says will protect women’s health. However, Planned Parenthood of Indiana says it will likely challenge the law in court.
The signed legislation would require Indiana abortion clinics that only dispense the abortion inducing drug known as RU-486 to adhere to the same physical standards as surgical abortion clinics. That includes bigger door and room sizes and surgical equipment requirements. Only one Indiana facility will be affected – a Planned Parenthood clinic in Lafayette.
A bill regulating abortion-inducing drugs administered at Indiana abortion clinics will advance to the House floor after passage in committee Wednesday.
When the bill passed the Senate, it required women receiving the abortion-inducing drug known as RU-486 to undergo an ultrasound prior to taking the drug. Changes in the House committee would require the ultrasound to be offered but allow women to turn it down.
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.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana will continue to receive federal Medicaid dollars after the federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the group’s favor Tuesday. Still, an Indiana pro-life group wants the fight to go on.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana brought suit against the state after the General Assembly passed legislation in 2011 halting Medicaid funding to abortion providers and Governor Mitch Daniels signed it into law.
A federal district judge last year temporarily halted the effects of the law and Tuesday the Seventh Circuit upheld that ruling.
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.