Ohio Senator proposes ban on abortion drugs via telemedicine

By: - January 7, 2020 3:39 pm
A medical exam room.

A medical exam room. File photo from MaxPixels.net.

An Ohio Senator is looking for co-sponsors to a bill that would ban telemedicine as a way of receiving abortion medication.

State Sen. Steve Huffman, R-Tipp City, sent a letter to senate members on Tuesday explaining the bill that would affect the prescription of a two-pill regimen, Mifepristone and Misoprostol, used in inducing an abortion.

Huffman’s proposed legislation would require physicians to be present for the “initial dosage of any abortion-inducing medication regimen…thus prohibiting physicians from prescribing abortion-inducing medications via webcam examination, audio or any other telecommunications platform,” the letter stated.

“There is a time and place for telemedicine, but in such a critical, vulnerable time, this is not one of them,” Huffman wrote.

He said the legislation was meant to “keep patients seeking these procedures safe and ensure that they receive the best quality of care possible.”

The drugs are also the focus of another bill awaiting legislative review.

State Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, is sponsoring Senate Bill 155, which requires physicians to notify patients of “developing research” that claims the effect of the first mifepristone, the first drug taken in the regimen, can be “reversed” if the second pill isn’t taken. That claim has been criticized by medical professionals, who have said it is unsupported by medical science.

Studies to investigate the treatment’s effectiveness were stopped after female patients were hospitalized.

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Susan Tebben
Susan Tebben

Susan Tebben is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience covering Ohio news, including courts and crime, Appalachian social issues, government, education, diversity and culture. She has worked for The Newark Advocate, The Glasgow (KY) Daily Times, The Athens Messenger, and WOUB Public Media. She has also had work featured on National Public Radio.