Bill to hamper telemedicine abortions passes committee | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bill to hamper telemedicine abortions passes committee

Posted By on Thu, Jan 29, 2015 at 10:23 AM

Rep. Julie Mayberry's bill to ban use of telemedicine for doctors who give women pills that induce miscarriages easily cleared a House committee this morning, with a bare scattering of nays on the voice vote.

Supporters call it the webcam abortion bill. It targets a popular method of early term abortions in which a doctor gives a woman a drug which, in combination with another drug taken two days later, induces a miscarriage in the first nine weeks of pregnancy. Anti-abortionists have fought efforts to have doctors consult with women by video on taking the pill as a way to deliver medical services in remote areas. Nationwide, the number of places that provide abortion, with surgical or chemical, has dropped dramatically.

The legislature will be considering bills this session — enjoying the broad endorsement of Gov. Asa Hutchinson — to expand telemedicine in Arkansas. Just not when it comes to women's reproductive right.

No chemical abortions are done by telemedicine in Arkansas now and no one has proposed to do so. Sponsors of the bill see it as a precaution.

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