OK

Picture of the probe used in a transvaginal ultrasound
As is often the case when the anti-woman extremists propose some utterly absurd bill to deny health care to women, it didn't take long for them to back down just a bit when the collective outcry of "WTF???????" echoed throughout the land.

It was only a week ago that an Indiana Senate committee easily approved SB 371, a bill that would require women seeking an abortion-inducing drug known as RU486 to undergo an ultrasound before taking the pill, and then a second ultrasound two weeks later. Physicians could face criminal and civil penalties if they fail to sufficiently attempt to force women to attend the second, post-abortion appointment.

But hey, these guys aren't completely unreasonable, so they've backed down:

In the bill on abortion pill regulations, doctors still would have to perform an ultrasound exam on the woman before providing the drugs, which opponents say is a step that wrongly interferes in medical decisions between a doctor and patient. The bill also requires doctors to schedule a follow-up visit about two weeks after providing the abortion medication, but the woman is not required to show up.
Yeah. That's so much better, isn't it? Now doctors will have to schedule appointments with patients who are unlikely to show up for a completely unnecessary appointment, thus making those no-show time slots unavailable to women who might actually need to see their doctors. But remember, it's all for women's own good. But the reasonableness doesn't end there. Why, look how reasonable these guys are trying to be!
Sen. Ron Alting, R-Lafayette, sponsored the move to drop the second ultrasound and replace it with a requirement that doctors perform "appropriate testing." Alting said that would give doctors the option of performing blood or urine tests on their patients.

"I think that physicians know a little bit more about that particular area than legislators," Alting said.

Great observation there, pal. Physicians are better than legislators at knowing how to practice medicine—which is why the legislators are trying to pass a bill to tell physicians how to practice medicine. But at least doctors get to exercise their discretion in exactly which kind of totally pointless testing they must administer to their patients. You know, the ones who are required to make a post-abortion appointment, but aren't required to attend it.

But remember: Mandated doctor appointments with optional attendance and unnecessary testing—plus several other unnecessary and burdensome provisions in the bill, like requiring clinics to have the "same facilities and equipment as surgical abortion clinics," even if they aren't performing any surgical abortions—is all to protect the little ladies. As Indiana Right to Life's spokeswoman insisted, it's "a huge improvement for women's health and safety." Suuuuuuure it is.

12:23 PM PT:

Senate passes bill targeting Lafayette clinic and requiring ultrasound for RU486 only. Vote is 33-16. Now goes to House.

@marybschneider via web

Originally posted to Kaili Joy Gray on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 12:23 PM PST.

Also republished by Abortion and Daily Kos.

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