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Mississippi Senate Targets Abortion Inducing Drugs

By Jeffrey Hess | Published 14 Feb 2013 05:14pm | comments

Drugs that induce abortion could soon be facing new regulations in Mississippi. This bill is the last significant piece anti-abortion legislation facing lawmakers.

The bill that passed the Mississippi Senate would require several things.

That only a doctor could distribute abortion-inducing drugs that they report their use and any complications to the health department, and that women have a follow up visit after they take the drug.

Senator Brice Wiggens of Pascagoula narrowed the scope of the bill after the state medicinal association raised concerns that it could criminalize doctors for practicing medicine according to accepted standards of care.

"Its pro-patient. And it is pro-physician. And also it is pro-life. And I think we all know in here that physicians, they are swore to duty to protect life. That is why they are physicians. And it is pro-life, there is no fear of that," Wiggens said.

The original bill was much more broad including prohibiting off-label use of the drugs, requiring four doctors visits for women, and limiting use of the pills to the first 7-weeks of pregnancy.

Senator Debbie Dawkins of Pass Christian says even the amended bill intrudes on the doctor patient relationship.

"Politicians have no place in health care decision. Not women's. Not men's. There are no good reasons for this attempt to insert ourselves in people's private lives," Dawkins said.

The bill passed the Senate, which aggravated anti-abortion advocates who say it is now too watered down.

Terri Herring with Pro-Life America Network says the amendment took life out of a pro-life bill.

"So I don't understand the medicinal association's opposition to the bill. Their concerns were already addressed in the bill as far as using the drugs for other purposes. So basically what we have now is a bill we cannot support," Herring said.

Compared to last session, the fight over abortion has been very calm with this bill being the last significant abortion related regulation remaining.

The bill passed the senate with 12 Senators, all Democrats, voting against it.

It moves to the house for more work.

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