February 2, 2012 — The Indiana Senate voted 36-0 to approve a bill that would tighten the rules for medication abortion, AP/MSN Money reports. Senate Republicans staged the vote while Democratic senators were attending a right-to-work rally (AP/MSN Money, 2/1).
Under the bill, a doctor would have to examine the woman in person, provide written information about the physical risks of abortion and schedule a follow-up ultrasound for two weeks later. Failure to follow the requirements could result in a misdemeanor criminal charge. Supporters of the bill said it would help protect women from potential side effects after taking the drug (Women's Health Policy Report, 1/26).
The state Senate on Tuesday deleted language from the bill that would have required doctors to follow FDA guidelines for administering mifepristone (Davies, AP/Indianapolis Star, 1/31). The guidelines, issued in 2000, call for a 600-milligram dose, but studies since then have shown that 200 mg is sufficient, according to John Stutsman, medical director of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and an Indiana University medical professor (Women's Health Policy Report, 1/26).