Planned Parenthood and Indiana will once again face off in court over an abortion bill. A lawsuit filed in federal court Thursday involves a bill imposing new regulations on clinics that distribute the abortion drug known as RU-486.
The General Assembly passed legislation this year requiring abortion clinics that provide the drug RU-486 to comply with strict surgical standards – even if those clinics don’t provide surgical abortions. The bill only affects one existing location – a Planned Parenthood clinic in Lafayette.
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the state on behalf of Planned Parenthood. ACLU Indiana legal director Ken Falk says requiring the clinic to conform to costly surgical standards when the drug is only dispensed there and then taken off site make no sense.
“You have a law which says that even though Planned Parenthood may have 50 or 60 of these non-surgical procedure a year out of the thousands of prescriptions that are prescribed out of that office, they have to comply, where a doctor’s office would not,” he said. “I think that heightens the irrationality.”
Markle Republican Senator Travis Holdman, the bill’s author, declined to talk about the law or Planned Parenthood’s suit, saying only he thinks it’s a good law. In a statement, Indiana Right to Life President Mike Fichter says the state is well within its bounds. Fichter accuses Planned Parenthood of seeing any amount of common-sense oversight as too much.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky President Betty Cockrum calls the legislation “purely politically motivated.” She points out that chemical abortions don’t take place in clinics – the drug is only dispensed there.
“Suggesting that the doorways need to be wider or that there need to be physical plant standards for a recovery room when there is no patient is absurd.”