INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A bill advancing in the Indiana Legislature would let pharmacists refuse to dispense abortion-inducing drugs to women if they have ethical, moral or religious objections.

The proposal endorsed by a state Senate committee would expand a current law that prevents doctors or hospital employees from being required to participate in abortions. The bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Liz Brown of Fort Wayne would extend that conscience protection to pharmacists, nurses and physician assistants.

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State records show that about 2,800, or roughly one-third, of abortions in Indiana last year were drug induced.

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Democratic Sen. Jean Breaux of Indianapolis argued the law should require health care providers to let patients know beforehand of their objections. Brown maintains it’s the patient’s responsibility to ask.

The bill is awaiting action by the full Senate.

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