Georgia Bill Banning Abortion Pills by Mail Advances


ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia Republicans superior a invoice Wednesday that may ban the supply of abortion drugs by mail and require girls to be examined by a doctor in particular person earlier than the drugs are disbursed.

The state Senate’s well being and human companies committee voted 7-5 in favor of the laws after an expedited listening to that drew abortion opponents and supporters. The invoice would nonetheless want approval from the state Senate and Home earlier than it might turn out to be legislation.

Greater than a dozen different Republican-led states have handed measures limiting entry to the drugs, together with outlawing supply by mail. The conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Courtroom lately signaled it was able to make seismic adjustments to the nationwide proper to abortion that has stood for almost half a century. If the courtroom overturns the landmark Roe v. Wade determination completely, GOP-controlled states similar to Georgia can be more likely to severely limit abortion entry, probably inflicting extra girls to hunt out abortion drugs by mail.

Proponents of the Georgia invoice say drug-induced abortion can result in problems, so physicians have to intently monitor sufferers. Critics say the process carries little danger, and the invoice’s true intention is to impede entry to abortions.

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“Within the title of security, this invoice units out necessities for which there isn’t any present medical justification,” mentioned Dr. Melissa Kottke, a specialist in being pregnant and contraception at Emory College and the previous president of the Georgia Obstetrical and Gynecological Society. “Certainly, it denies medical developments, and finally this invoice will put into legislation substandard medical care. It should do hurt.”

Kottke and different audio system have been minimize off by committee chairman Ben Watson, who warned at one level that safety was exterior the listening to room.

The Georgia laws responds to the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration’s December determination that modified a federal rule that required girls to choose up the remedy in particular person. The federal authorities had already put aside the rule briefly through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The in-person requirement had lengthy been opposed by medical societies, together with the American Medical Affiliation, which say the restriction affords no clear profit to sufferers.

Watson, a Republican from Savannah, mentioned the Georgia invoice was written narrowly and returned issues to the best way they have been earlier than the COVID-19 emergency.

“There is no such thing as a invoice that’s ever excellent,” he mentioned. He added, “However we don’t need to let the nice get slowed down by the proper.”

Republican Sen. Bruce Thompson, a co-sponsor of the laws, mentioned its intention was to maintain girls protected.

“This invoice is just supposed to guard these girls from the reckless actions of these mailing these medication to girls with out making certain she receives the correct and obligatory care to make sure her well being and security, and that it’s not compromised,” he mentioned.

Proper now, abortion drugs will be prescribed in Georgia 24 hours after a phone session by a doctor or somebody working for the doctor. Underneath the brand new invoice, physicians must look at the affected person in particular person and carry out an ultrasound upfront. They might even be required to schedule a follow-up go to seven to 14 days after the medication are administered.

The invoice would additionally ban abortion drugs from being offered at secondary colleges, faculties or universities within the state.

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