U 486 is a non-surgical early abortion medication that comes in the form of a pill and is generally used to end a pregnancy up to 10 weeks from a woman’s last period. So, naturally, a bill, approved by Indiana’s state Senate Health and Provider Services Committee on Wednesday, would require clinics to conduct trans-vaginal ultrasounds on women both before and after dispensing the pill. Senate Bill 371 passed by a vote of 7 to 5, and will next be voted on by the full state Senate. Specifically, the bill would require women to be presented with the sound and image of the fetal heartbeat before the abortion and to return for another ultrasound to ensure that she is no longer pregnant.
The bill makes no medical sense, whatsoever, and is a clear attempt to discourage women from taking RU 486, by adding two unnecessary trips to an abortion clinic and two unnecessary uncomfortable procedures to it. Dr. Anne Davis, the consulting medical director for Physicians for Reproductive Health, explained,
“[a woman who has taken RU 486] can do a blood test at any local facility after an abortion to show that the hormone levels are going down as they should, there’s no medical reason to make her drive back to the abortion clinic and go through another ultrasound…. This is yet another onerous, medically unnecessary barrier.”