April 23, 2014

Legislature sends ‘webcam abortion’ ban to the Governor

The state legislature has approved a bill that would bar the use of telemedicine to administer abortion-inducing drugs.

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

Rep. Jeanie Riddle (photo courtesy Tim Bommel, House Communications)

The bill (HB 400) would require that when a woman is using RU-486 or another abortion-inducing drug she must be in the presence of her doctor, rather than have him monitor her by a videoconference.

The bill’s House sponsor, Rep. Jeanie Riddle (R-Mokane), says such procedures happen elsewhere in the country and leave patients at risk.

“We’ve had 15 deaths and well over 1,000 … 1,300, 1,500 serious complications with this drug. We’ve had two in the United States … two teenage girls that bled to death at home because they were afraid to tell their parents. Yes, this is about quality care for women.”

Rep. Genise Montecillo (D-St. Louis) says Riddle overplays the risks, and is not genuine in stating her motivation.

“If you’re opposed to RU-486, say you’re opposed to RU-486 and that’s what this bill is about, but don’t stand up and say that this has nothing to do with a woman’s right to choose because it has everything to do with a woman’s right to choose” Montecillo said. “Let’s just be honest about the discussion for once.”

Other opponents argued that the drug is meant to be administered and followed-up on at home.

The proposal goes to Gov. Jay Nixon on veto-proof majorities in both chambers. Ten House Democrats voted with Republicans in passing it.