Ohio Senate Passes Bill Banning Telemedicine Abortion Drugs

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Ohio is one step closer to banning the use of telemedicine to prescribe abortion-inducing drugs.

The legislation, just passed in the state Senate and now making its way to the House, centers on drugs called mifepristone and misoprostol, two abortion-inducing drugs used in combination to induce a miscarriage early on in a pregnancy. The bill would require that physicians be certified to distribute the drugs, as well as mandate that an in-person evaluation be conducted before a patient is prescribed the abortion medication.

State Sen. Steve Huffman, the bill’s sponsor, explained that the bill is “about safety, not about limiting access,” pointing to several other states that have enacted similar bans.

Planned Parenthood argues that banning the use of telemedicine to prescribe the drug would adversely affect women in rural areas who can’t easily get to an abortion clinic.

RU-486, also known as mifepristone, or “Mifeprex,” is a synthetic steroid. When taken in conjunction with misoprostol, the combination carries a 95 percent success rate of forcing a woman’s body to miscarry. Because of its function, it’s recommended that the drug only be taken up until the 10th week of pregnancy. The roughly five percent of children who survive the process are at much greater risk of birth defects.

While abortion supporters say the medication carries a low risk of complications, the FDA warns against women with certain conditions taking these drugs, as side effects can include uncontrolled bleeding that requires surgery, sepsis, flu-like symptoms and even death. The FDA added it has “received reports of serious adverse events in women who took Mifeprex, including “one case of ectopic pregnancy resulting in death; several cases of severe systemic infection (also called sepsis), including some that were fatal; and a single case of non-fatal heart attack.”

Despite the risks, the abortion-loving progressive left has pushed for the abortion pill to be offered through telemedicine, online through foreign companies that aren't subject to FDA regulations, and in health centers on college campuses.

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