Legislature Passes Telemedicine Abortion Ban

The Missouri General Assembly passed legislation last week that will prevent the spread of telemedicine abortions in Missouri. HB 400, sponsored by Representative Jeanie Riddle (R-Mokane), passed the House by a vote of 115-39 and the Senate by a vote of 23-7.

This bill will prevent Planned Parenthood and others from setting up clinics in remote portions of Missouri to perform telemedicine abortions. The legislation requires that a physician be present to administer RU-486, the drug most commonly used in non-surgical abortions, and will stop any efforts by Planned Parenthood and others to perform telemedicine abortions in Missouri.

Women seeking a medical abortion currently take RU-486 at the clinic and are then given a dose to take at home, 24 to 48 hours later. Under the legislation, the physician prescribing or dispensing an abortion-inducing drug would need to be present for the initial dose.

In Iowa there are 17 clinics that perform these abortions via video conferencing. The passage of this legislation ensures that that will not happen in Missouri. The bill now goes to the governor’s desk.

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