Georgia and Kentucky lawmakers are trying to restrict medical abortions

A Georgia Senate bill has been passed that requires a woman to see a doctor in person before getting access to abortion pills, limiting the ability to send pills to women in need. Kentucky lawmakers have also made efforts to restrict medical abortions by mail.

AP: Georgia Senate: Require in-person examinations for abortion pills

A Georgia woman would have to be examined by a doctor in person and sign a consent form before she can be prescribed abortion pills under a bill passed by the state Senate on Tuesday. Senate Bill 456, which passed 31 to 22 in a party vote, is part of a nationwide campaign by anti-abortion groups to limit doctors’ ability to prescribe abortion pills by telemedicine. It is now returned to the House for further debate. (Amy, 3/1)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Georgia Senate approves bill to ban shipment of abortion pills

The Georgian Senate has approved in an online party vote a bill that would ban women from receiving the abortion pill in the mail. Senators voted 31 to 22 to approve the measure, with Republicans backing the measure, which now goes to the State House. Senate Bill 456, introduced by State Senator Bruce Thompson, R-White, would require pregnant women to see a doctor in person before they can obtain mifepristone, the abortion pill. The pills could not be mailed or given on state property — or to a K-12 school or college that receives state funding. A doctor should also perform an ultrasound before medications can be prescribed and schedule a follow-up visit. (Prabhu, 3/1)

AP: House Panel advances bill to regulate medical abortions

Kentucky lawmakers took the first step on Tuesday toward more regulations on medical abortions, responding to the increased use of pills rather than surgery to terminate teenage pregnancies. A Republican-controlled House committee has introduced a far-reaching abortion bill that would ban the mailing of such drugs. This would require an in-person visit with a doctor, rather than using telehealth, before undergoing a medical abortion. (Schreiner, 3/1)

In other abortion news –

WFLA: Florida abortion ban: Fathers would have to pay child support at 15 weeks under new amendment

More than a dozen amendments to Florida’s proposed 15-week abortion ban were tabled Tuesday during its last visit to a Senate committee. Among the proposed legislative additions was a requirement to start paying child support at 15 weeks. If abortions are banned at 15 weeks gestation, the amendment proposed in the Florida Senate by Tina Scott Polsky, D-Palm Beach, would require the child’s father to start paying child support as soon as abortions are no longer legal. (Donovan, 3/1) Ohio clinics sue to ban new abortion bill

A lawsuit has been filed against the latest state restriction on abortion and its regulation of doctors’ ability to practice medicine. ACLU, Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region and Women’s Med Dayton are asking a Hamilton County Common Pleas Court to stop the state from enforcing a law creating ‘onerous and unjustified’ restrictions on health care in the South -Western Ohio in particular. (Tebben, 3/2)

The Hill: Anti-abortion group targets Kelly in million-dollar ad campaign in Arizona

The Susan B. Anthony List, a conservative anti-abortion group, launched a million-dollar ad buy in Arizona on Tuesday, targeting Sen. Mark Kelly (D) over his stance on abortion rights before the November elections. The purchase consists of two 30-second commercials, titled “Show Pony” and “Too Extreme”, which portray Kelly as extreme on the issue. One of the spots hits Kelly for co-sponsoring the Women’s Health Protection Act, which abortion opponents have dubbed the “Abortion on Demand Until Birth Act.” (Manchester, 3/1) Abortion Rights Protest at Idaho State Capitol

Freeing Idaho, a coalition of organizations that support reproductive freedom, held a rally outside the Idaho State Capitol building on Monday, February 28 at 9:00 a.m. in the Idaho Senate. The Senate was supposed to vote on the bill today, but ended up postponing. (3/1)

NPR: Texas Abortion Law After 6 Months

In the days after the new Texas abortion law known as SB 8 went into effect last September, Anna was planning her wedding to her fiancé, Scott. They had set a date for next May – until Anna realized her period was almost two weeks late. “I just remember laughing at myself because I was like, wow, because as responsible as I think I am all the time, I had no idea I was pregnant – and so late,” says Anna. NPR only uses his first name due to the sensitivity of his story. (McCammon and Hodges, 3/1)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news outlets. Sign up for an email subscription.

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