February 7, 2016

House passes bill barring ‘webcam abortions’

The House has passed a bill to stop so-called “webcam abortions.” It would bar in Missouri the administering of “abortion-inducing” drugs to a woman in one location by a doctor teleconferencing with her from another.

Representative Jeanie Riddle (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

Representative Jeanie Riddle (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

It’s sponsor, Representative Jeanie Riddle (R-Mokane) says her bill, HB 400, is not about preventing abortions, but protecting the health of women seeking them.

“The physician who is going to prescribe these drugs needs to take professional responsibility for the woman taken them. Women need protection from unscrupulous medical people who want to take their money with a cushy job, no equipment to purchase, no late nights, no 3 a.m. emergency visits.”

Riddle offered statistics and argued that such drugs are dangerous to women, but Democrats rejected that argument as a scare tactic.

Representative Genise Montecillo (D-St. Louis) told her colleagues, “The risks are the same as if the woman has a miscarriage … I think that this is just another attempt to interfere with a woman’s right to make good medical decisions for herself.”

Democrats say such procedures do not currently happen in Missouri, but Riddle suggests they are becoming more common in the U.S.

The legislation would also require a physician or representative to make all reasonable efforts to have a woman who has used an abortion-inducing drug make a follow-up visit between 12 and 18 days later for an assessment of her condition.

It now goes to the Senate for consideration.