|Indiana Governor Mike Pence|
(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Planned Parenthood of Indiana is planning a lawsuit after a new law is signed by Governor Mike Pence.
On Wednesday, the conservative Republican governor signed Senate Enrolled Act 371 which requires clinics that provide only drug-induced abortions to meet the same standards as clinics that perform surgical abortions.
The only clinic in Indiana to be affected by the new law is Planned Parenthood in Lafayette, which provides the abortion pill, but not surgical abortions.
“I believe in the right to life and in protecting the health and well-being of women in Indiana. Abortion-inducing drugs can be very dangerous, and must be prescribed under conditions that ensure proper medical care. This new law helps accomplish that goal,” Pence said in a statement.
SEA 371 goes on to prohibit abortion-inducing drugs from being administered after nine weeks of pregnancy. It also requires women to have a fetal ultrasound and heart monitor before receiving the drug unless they provide a doctor written notice stating they do not want to see or listen.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana wasted little time in criticizing the new law. The organization issued a press release Wednesday afternoon calling SEA 371 an egregious piece of legislation that intrudes on women’s personal health care decisions and imposes further restrictions on abortion, which the organization says is a safe and legal procedure.
“The additional regulations in this bill are in no way related to ‘patient safety,’” said PPIN President Betty Cockrum. “Legislators really intend to chip away at Hoosier women’s access to abortion – and as part of a coordinated national effort, shut down Planned Parenthood’s health care centers that also provide preventive care.
Cockrum said PPIN is working with the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana in a likely lawsuit that will challenge the law’s constitutionality.
“Thus far, our nonprofit has had a successful track record when it comes to taking on legislation that’s politically-motivated or based on someone’s religious beliefs,” Cockrum said. “We intend to keep on standing up for our patients and for women’s reproductive rights.”