IN Senate considering bill establishing certain abortion guidelines

Jan 25, 2012

A bill passed by a state senate committee would tell doctors how to administer medications they use to perform abortions. However, some doctors disagree with the legislatively-prescribed protocol.

The bill mandates that drugs used in so-called chemical abortions be administered according to Food and Drug Administration guidelines only.  But some physicians say they prefer using evidence-based, off-label practices, while the F.D.A. protocol requires a dose three times higher than those doctors prefer using.

Doctor Brownsyne Tucker Edmonds is an assistant professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the IU School of Medicine.  She says the protocol required by the bill prevents doctors from providing patients with the best care possible.

“It’s less effective, it places women at risk of having higher side effects, it is more costly.  I mean, on every turn, it’s a lose-lose for the women of Indiana.”

State Senator Travis Holdman (R-Markle) is the bill’s author.  He says he’s willing to look at the language of the bill to address the protocol concern.

“We could have lined as many pharmacists up on the other side of the issue as well as physicians on the other side of the issue, but I understand we need to try to strike a fair balance here.”

Holdman says he will investigate amending other, evidence-based protocols into the bill when it’s on the Senate floor.  The bill narrowly passed the committee on a 5 to 4 vote.