In a 54-30 vote late Thursday evening, the Ohio House of Representatives passed SB 260, a bill that would effectively ban telemedicine abortions in the state. The bill’s next stop is the desk of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, whose signature would make it law. Although Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has not indicated his position on SB 260, the governor has supported high-profile pro-life legislation in Ohio, including the ‘heartbeat bill’ that he signed in 2019.
The bill, also known as the Telemedicine Abortion Ban, would require that a physician be present when administering the first of the two drugs in the abortion pill regimen that induce an abortion (mifepristone). Failure to do so could result in a fourth-degree felony, and continued violations of the law result in suspension of the offending physician’s license. According to Planned Parenthood’s former research arm, the Guttmacher Institute, 19 states have enacted similar bans.
Local physician and the bill’s sponsor, Senator Stephen Huffman, expressed concern about the effect increasing access to telemedicine abortion might have. “To me this bill is about safety,” he said according to Cleveland.com. “It’s not about limiting access. It’s about the safety of that woman.” The US Food and Drug Administration’s safety protocol known as REMS has been suspended to allow remote distribution of the abortion pill during COVID-19, which means women will not be assessed in person before receiving the drugs to rule out a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy, accurately date their pregnancy, or receive other important testing and bloodwork.
Planned Parenthood has reported that the number of telemedicine abortions has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. The abortion giant has used the global pandemic as an excuse to expand their telemedicine services. Chemical abortions (the abortion pill) make up 39% of abortions nationwide, and standard safety measures have been eroded since March in the name of increased access to abortion.
Dr. Donna Harrison, executive director of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), praised SB 260 as protecting vulnerable Ohio women. “It is clear from the scientific literature that telemedicine abortions in remote areas will initiate a procedure that commonly results in hemorrhage, ER visits, need for emergency surgery, transfusions, etc. This places the women in remote areas at the highest risk of turning a manageable complication into something life-threatening or fatal,” Harrison said, according to the Columbus Dispatch. The abortion pill has been shown to have a four times greater risk to women than a surgical first-trimester abortion.
In a similar vein, Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis hailed the bill as an important safeguard, saying, “It is past time for the abortion industry to be held accountable for their blatant disregard for patient safety and human life.”
“Like” Live Action News on Facebook for more pro-life news and commentary!