They Just Can’t Help Themselves

Senate Bill 371, currently passing easily through the various stages of the legislative process, requires facilities that dispense abortion-inducing drugs to meet all the structural and operational specifications of facilities that provide surgical abortions. In other words, in order for a clinic to prescribe or supply a pill to induce a very early abortion, its facilities must rival those of a hospital or surgical center.
SB 371 also requires the physician providing such a prescription to provide the patient with materials–colors specified!–oversee ultrasound imaging, and document efforts to have the woman return in two weeks for a follow-up examination and ultrasound.
This bill has nothing to with women’s safety. It has everything to do with limiting the availability of safe and legal abortion.  As a side effect, it also limits the availability of all reproductive health care for low-income women.  Note the language: it applies only to “clinics.” None of the standards in SB 371 apply to private physicians who dispense abortion-inducing drugs.
The restrictions apply only to “clinics”–read, Planned Parenthood– that provide health care at low cost.
Medication abortion is a safe, early-stage procedure.  SB 371 is an unwarranted interference with the doctor-patient relationship, not to mention an unconstitutional effort to deny some women but not others access to reproductive health services by forcing the closure of the clinics that serve them. This measure is yet another salvo in the GOP’s ongoing war on Planned Parenthood. and a woman’s right to make her own moral decisions.
On the other hand, the perennially cash-strapped ACLU can use the legal fees that will be generated when it wins the inevitable legal challenge. So I suppose there is a bright side to everything.


  1. It is long overdue for women to begin protesting men being provided with Viagra and erectily dysfunction supplies by health insurance. Surely they do not hope to keep active sexually and continue over-populating this country…even at advanced ages. But, then again, they are men who primarily think with old one-eye. Robin Williams was on target when he said, “God gave man a brain and a penis but only enough blood to use one at a time.” A wise man, Robin Williams.

  2. Apparently Mrs. Kennedy has not read the bill.

    Here is a link to the bill:

    Section 4 of the bill is where it starts changing law (the previous sections help describe what certain terms will mean).
    Basically, a clinic will have to have a licensed physician on staff to give an ultrasound and a drug to a patient. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask. Should they not verify the specifics before administering such a drug?

    How this will limit the availability of “all” reproductive health care for low income women is something I would love to have explained.

  3. Oh, and it for the record, it is SB 489 authored by Mike Young (R) which requires the pictures shown to be in color and not black and white.

  4. Are they going to monitor every womb in Indiana for possible fetuses and arrest every woman when she loses a fetus to miscarriage on the charge of murder too? The conservatives are notorious for going down that slippery slope but when it comes to women and their reproductive bodies, well, where does it stop? Will they require that when women/girls start their cycles, they must keep a journal of every day to prove that they are not pregnant and show it in the court?
    Basically they are FORCING childbirth on every woman/girl no matter her age, her financial status or ability to not only to carry that child but raise it whether she can or can’t?

  5. So while some talk about legalizing marijuana, they pave the way for the drug dealers to sell RU-486 instead.

    If these folks wanted to reduce abortion, it’s much better to implement high quality family planning and birth control. The Guttmacher Institute reports interesting and significant information: 1) The U.S. abortion rate is around 20-22 per 1000. 2) In many countries, where abortion is strictly prohibited, it is actually higher (an more unsafe) than many countries where it’s not. 3) Among the lowest is Tunisia with a 7 to 8 per 1000 rate, where they have excellent family planning services and where abortion is still available. Do they want to reduce abortions or reduce sex? You can reduce abortion with intelligent policy. Reduce sex? Good luck. Prohibition of something that people want or want to do is almost always a bad idea, but Americans seem to love it.

    On the other hand, the big stumbling block in Indiana is always “high quality” with an eye on addressing complex issues with simplistic answers. When a state is aspires to become the next Mississippi, nothing is high quality, even the demagoguery.

  6. I thought that legislator in AL cleared up why these bills are proceeding. You wouldn’t allow a kidney transplant to be done in an outpatient facility… and a baby is the largest organ in a woman’s body. #snark.

  7. I want to say to Travis Holdman, sponsor of SB 371, “just stop lying to us.” If you oppose abortion and you introduce legislation to obstruct access to abortion, then man up and say that’s what you’re doing. Don’t try to couch it in terms of patient safety. We, the people you represent, are not stupid. We deserve better than your lies.

  8. The legislators who push these bills claim it’s to “protect women’s health”. This is code for “The sluts have to accept responsibility for their actions”. Meanwhile, the males who impregnated these women or girls suffer no consequences. The (mostly) male legislators let men off scot-free, because, I guess, men are blameless, holy creatures. But, no, there’s no war on women!

  9. It’s about time women make war on these guys. When they have to deal with a group of angry women, they disappear or try to hide behind their “position” or anything to get away. They need to be confronted by women who will ask them to clarify that “protect women’s health” business by women who remind them that women vote, too–in their district. Suddenly all that bravado and support for these primitive measures will disappear. Get ’em!

  10. This is ridiculous! This is 2013 and you people want women to stand up and make noise and stop this nonsense? We HAVE. It’s time you liberal men, brothers, husbands and fathers and sons stand up with us women. NOW.

  11. I agree. I guess my late-night comment had more to do with the observation that a bunch of the legislators are deep-down sexist people who are afraid of women, not so much men, so you get them where they are weak. In either case, we either say the right thing when it’s needed or evil triumphs. So far, it seems to be doing pretty well.

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