Georgia bill would ban delivery of abortion pills on any school campus, by mail

A new bill proposed by Republican lawmakers in Georgia on Tuesday would make it harder for women to access abortion pills by banning the delivery of drugs to homes and banning colleges from dispensing the pills.

Republican Senator Bruce Thompson has introduced new legislation challenging the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to allow abortion drugs to be mailed instead of requiring patients to pick them up in person , reported the Associated Press.

Senate Bill 351, also known as the Women’s Health and Safety Act, would require pregnant women to see a doctor in person before receiving the abortion pill, mifepristone. Thompson said he thinks it’s too risky for someone to be given an abortion pill without first seeing a doctor and that a medical professional should be involved when making the decision to discontinue an abortion. pregnancy.

“In our state, when you take a doctor or healthcare provider out of that step of administering drugs like this [where] there are serious or adverse reactions that can occur, and it puts women’s health at risk,” Thompson said in a phone call with Newsweek.

He added that they want to make sure the mother is safe and not past 10 weeks pregnant or has anything unusual like an ectopic pregnancy before receiving the drug, as this could put his health in danger.

“We want to make sure that we don’t order abortion pills by mail order without making sure [the mother] is a good candidate,” he said.

In April 2021, President Joe Biden’s administration began allowing the drug to be mailed after more women saw doctors online or by phone due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Thompson said he wanted to protect pregnant women in the state, “and when the Biden administration allowed the mail-order sale of abortion pills without a doctor being involved in that process, we think that puts women in grave danger,” said the Journal-Constitution added.

In December 2021, the FDA permanently removed the requirement for women to pick up the drug in person. However, the Journal-Constitution said the FDA still requires a doctor to prescribe the abortion pill before it can be sent to a patient.

Georgia’s proposed bill would require a patient to sign 15 statements in order to receive the drug. Doctors would also be required to tell the patient that the medically induced abortion could be reversed by taking the hormone progesterone, the AP reported, adding that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) says it does not There is no evidence to support the claim that medical abortions can be reversed.

Medical abortions have been available in the United States since 2000, after the FDA cleared the use of mifepristone to terminate pregnancies up to 10 weeks old, the AP reported.

According to the ACOG website, mifepristone blocks the hormone progesterone, which stops pregnancy growth. The uterus then contracts from the misoprostol to complete the abortion.

About 40% of abortions in the country are performed with medication. The option to use abortion pills rather than surgery has become more common during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the AP.

Update (February 3, 5:02 p.m.): This story has been updated to include comments from Senator Bruce Thompson.

Georgia lawmakers have introduced a bill to fight the FDA’s recent decision to permanently allow abortion pills to be mailed. Above is an image of a smart phone accessing a website about mifepristone, the abortion pill.
Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images
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