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Tennessee governor signs bill regulating medication abortions


Bill Lee, governor of Tennessee, smiles in the course of the Conservative Political Motion Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas, U.S., on Saturday, July 10, 2021.

Dylan Hollingsworth | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Tennessee will soon strictly regulate the shelling out of abortion pills, including imposing harsh penalties on doctors who violate them, under laws recently signed into law by Republican Gov. Bill Lee.

The measure, which Lee signed on Thursday, will go into effect Jan. 1, 2023. Once enacted, a medical clinician can be required to be physically present when abortion pills are administered to a patient regardless that federal regulations now allow mail delivery nationwide.

The problem has develop into much more vital because the U.S. Supreme Court seems poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision as suggested through a recently leaked draft opinion. Notably, Tennessee is among the many 13 states with a so-called trigger law that will make abortion illegal should Roe be overturned.

To this point, 19 states have placed strict restrictions on accessing medication abortion. Under the Tennessee version, delivery of abortion pills by mail could be outlawed and anyone who wanted to make use of abortion pills could be required to go to a physician prematurely after which return to choose up the pills.

The drugs could also be allotted only by qualified physicians — which would come with barring pharmacists from doing so. Violators would face a Class E felony and as much as a $50,000 fantastic.

Nonetheless, in keeping with abortion law experts, it’s an unsettled query whether states can restrict access to abortion pills within the wake of the FDA’s decision.

“The overall rule is that federal law preempts conflicting state law,” Laura Hermer, a professor on the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, recently told The Associated Press.

No lawsuit has been filed difficult Tennessee’s newly enacted restrictions.

Meanwhile, the in-person requirement had long been opposed by medical societies, including the American Medical Association, which said the restriction offers no clear profit to patients

Use of abortion pills has been rising within the U.S. since 2000 when the Food and Drug Administration approved mifepristone — the important drug utilized in medication abortions. Greater than half of U.S. abortions are actually done with pills, somewhat than surgery, in keeping with the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.

Two drugs are required. The primary, mifepristone, blocks a hormone needed to take care of a pregnancy. A second drug, misoprostol, taken one to 2 days later, empties the uterus. Each drugs can be found as generics and are also used to treat other conditions.

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