News Abortion

Steve King Brings Back His “Robo-Skype Abortions” Ban

Robin Marty

The bill, which didn't pass in 2011, is being brought back to the floor so it can not become law again this year.

Iowa Republican Steve King is bringing back one of his favorite federal abortion bans — a bill that will “prohibit federal tele-health grants from going to clinics and doctors who use video-conferencing technology to prescribe the abortion medication mifepristone, also known as RU-486.”

Sound a little familiar?  It should.  It passed the House back in October of last year as part of an agriculture bill. Aimed at ensuring Planned Parenthood didn’t receive any federal funding to update infrastructure that could possibly allow the health care provider to perform tele-med abortions or, as King called them, “robo-skype abortions,” the bill essentially continues the argument that almost anything can constitute “taxpayer-funded abortion” if you try hard enough.

Last year, the bill died in the senate.  Likely, the same will happen this year, too.

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News Abortion

Missouri Bill Banning ‘Telemed’ Abortions Could Limit Access to Medication Abortions Altogether

Robin Marty

A new ban on "telemed" abortions could make accessing all medication abortions much more difficult for patients in Missouri.

The anti-choice mission to eliminate access to medication abortion continues as Missouri takes an additional step to put restrictions on how RU-486 can be administered in the state. Spearheaded by Missouri Right to Life with the intention of eliminating medication abortion—a more private, less invasive alternative to a surgical procedure—the bill has passed the senate judiciary on a party-line vote.

Missouri is the latest state to propose a law allegedly meant to restrict so-called telemed abortions, or “web-cam abortions,” but which would severely curb the ability to offer medication abortions in general. HB 400 mandates that a doctor be present when the patient takes the first dose of the medication, as well when she takes the second done 24 to 48 hours later. It also requires that the “physician inducing the abortion, or a person acting on such physician’s behalf, shall make all reasonable efforts to ensure that the patient returns twelve to eighteen days after the administration or use of RU-486.” The repeated office visits would make it much more difficult for women to obtain a medication abortion, and may cause many women to choose a surgical procedure just to save the additional trips to the clinic.

That’s exactly what the bill intends. “We have cases of women on a computer ‘Skyping’ with a doctor in a different city while they are taking this pill,” the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Jeanie Riddle (R-Fulton), told the Missouri Times, evoking Rep. Steve King’s (R-IA) “Robo-skype” abortion comments. “That’s just not safe. It’s dangerous for the woman and allows her to be exploited, and it puts her at great risk.”

Missouri Right to Life appears to have reached out expressly to Riddle to find the right sponsor for the bill. The fact that “telemed” bans and additional doctor trips are in bills being created by anti-abortion action groups and championed by anti-choice lawmakers should make it clear that patient safety has no role in the laws, and these anti-choice players are trying to create barriers to access.

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“Non-surgical abortion, whether in-person or through telemedicine is safe and effective,” Michelle Trupiano, public policy manager for Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri, said during public testimony. “The bill’s proponents do not have women’s safety in mind. Their goal is to ultimately eliminate women’s access to safe, legal abortion care altogether.”

HB 400 has now passed out of senate committee and will head to the full senate for a vote. There are three weeks left in the session.

News Abortion

Colorado Senate Proposes “Gender-Based Abortions” Ban, While One Rep Wants to Just Ban Abortions

Robin Marty

The anti-choice legislators must be bored with no "personhood" initiative to pass their time on.

Hold on to your hats, Rockies! Colorado is ready to fight the scourge that is sex-selection abortion. Even if there isn’t really a scourge to begin with.

According to Fox News 31 in Denver, 11 of 15 Republicans in the Colorado senate have gotten together to sponsor a bill that will ban any abortion “undertaken for purposes of eliminating an unborn child of an undesired sex.”

The bill itself, like all of its predecessors, provides no indication of how it can be determined if a doctor or a person coercing the woman seeking such a termination is violating the law. However, it does begin by stating “WOMEN ARE A VITAL PART OF AMERICAN SOCIETY AND CULTURE AND POSSESS THE SAME FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS AND CIVIL RIGHTS AS MEN.”

If only legislatures would write some bills making that actually happen.

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Also filed in the Colorado Senate is a proposal to ban entities that provide, refer for or even mention abortions from receiving any taxer funding. Over in the House, one representative has proposed going straight for an all out ban on all abortion.

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