Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed a new bill into law, mandating that a physician be present when a woman takes the first of two pills during a chemical abortion. This measure will prevent the practice of "telemedicine abortions" throughout the state.
Senate Bill 260 was passed by the Ohio House of Representatives in a 54-30 vote and Gov. DeWine signed the bill into law on Jan. 9, according to a news release from DeWine's office.
SB 260 states that, "No physician shall personally furnish or otherwise provide an abortion-inducing drug to a pregnant woman unless the physician is physically present at the location where the initial dose of the drug or regimen of drugs is consumed at the time the initial dose is consumed."
But the purpose for a doctor visit prior to taking the abortion pill is to screen women for any possible risks.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Steve Huffman (R - District 5), a physician, denounced the use of telemedicine for abortion purposes and cited the hazardous implications.
"Although every successful abortion is a tragedy which results in the ending of a human life, abortions committed through telemedicine have the potential to add one tragedy to another by subjecting women to dangerous abortions-inducing drugs without providing basic health and safety standards," Huffman said.
Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson referred to telehealth services as a "silver lining in this pandemic" during an interview with Democracy Now.
Ohio Right to Life President Mike Gonidakis praised Gov. DeWine and passage of the law.
"Telemed abortions are not safe, either for the unborn child whose life is tragically taken during a chemical abortion or for the woman who is left to deal with the harrowing experience...on her own..."
— Ohio Right to Life (@ohiolife) January 15, 2021
"Ohio Right to Life is immensely grateful to our governor and our pro-life legislature for their work in ensuring that this much-needed protection became a part of Ohio law," Gonidakis said in a statement.
"Planned Parenthood's use of telemedicine to dispense abortion-inducing drugs cuts their own costs at the expense of basic health and safety standards. Patient safety shouldn't have a price tag. Women deserve better," he added.
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