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House Committee Amends Abortion Bill To ‘Balance Out’ Language

The 2015 legislative session is more than halfway over.

A House committee approved a bill that requires doctors to tell patients their medication-induced abortions could be reversed.

The committee also changed the bill to, as one lawmaker put it, “balance out” that language.

In testimony on the measure last week, doctors were split on the reversal of medication-induced abortions. Some supported it, citing individual cases. Others said no scientifically valid studies support those claims.

The committee has now amended the bill to require doctors tell patients their medication-induced abortions can be reversed, and also tell them that no scientifically validated study confirms the practice. Rep. Terri Austin (D-Anderson), the amendment’s author, says it also directs women to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists for more information.

“That way, we’re giving women a full menu of choices so that they can make an informed decision,” Austin says.

Rep. Matt Lehman (R-Berne) reluctantly went along with the amendment, but says he thinks it undoes the purpose of the bill, to inform women of the possibility of reversing a medication-induced abortion.

“We’re in essence saying, ‘But the information you’re seeking is not valid.’ So I think it kind of takes away the idea of giving information,” Lehman says.

The committee approved the overall bill 7-6, with two Republicans joining Democrats in voting “no.”

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