The Ohio State Senate passed a bill Wednesday banning telemedicine abortion procedures.
With a vote of 20-9, Senate Bill 260 forbids doctors from using video or audio equipment to help patients take medications that would eventually terminate a pregnancy.
“To me, this bill is about safety; it’s not about limiting access,” Sen. Stephen Huffman (R-Tipp City) said before the bill passed. “There is a time and place for telemedicine, but in such a critical, vulnerable time, this is not one of them.”
“I believe this piece of legislation will keep patients seeking this procedure safe and ensure they receive the best quality of care possible,” he added.
The Vice President of Ohio Right to Life Stephanie Ranade Krider thanked Huffman and the Ohio State Senate for passing the measure.
“We [Ohio Right to Life] are so grateful to the Ohio Senate for passing Senate Bill 260 to protect women’s health and safety. As the proportion of chemically-induced abortion continues to increase, greater care – not less – ought to be exercised in ensuring women’s safety,” Krider said.
“While it is too late for the unborn baby on whom the effects of this drug will be almost certainly fatal, using telemedicine to dispense dangerous, abortion-inducing drugs, as Planned Parenthood is already doing in Ohio, shows the abortion industry’s lack of regard for the danger it poses their patients,” she added. “It is unacceptable to compromise patient safety for the convenience of the industry.”
On the other hand, Sen. Nickie Antonio (D-Chuyahoga), who opposed SB 260, said before Senators voted Wednesday that she thought this bill was more about eliminating abortion access more than about the patient’s safety. Furthermore, she said there was better usage of taxpayer money due to the fact that if this bill became law, it would eventually face a legal challenge.
Antonio pointed to Idaho and Iowa who both faced legal issues with their telemedicine abortion pieces of legislation. These states had to overturn their telemedicine abortion laws in 2017 and 2015 respectively.
ACLU of Ohio tweeted, “The Ohio Senate voted 20-9 to pass SB 260 – a bill to ban medication abortions administered through telemedicine. This bill has NOTHING to do with public safety. It’s designed to push access to safe, legal abortion out of reach.”
The Ohio Senate voted 20-9 to pass SB 260 – a bill to ban medication abortions administered through telemedicine. This bill has NOTHING to do with public safety. It's designed to push access to safe, legal abortion out of reach. #StopTheBans @PPAOhio https://t.co/S7iZo7464n
— ACLU of Ohio (@acluohio) March 4, 2020
SB 260 will now head to the Republican-controlled Ohio State House. If this bill becomes law, the Buckeye State would become the 20th state to ban telemedicine abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
– – –
Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Star News Digital Media. If you have any tips, email Zachery at [email protected]