February 7, 2013 — The Mississippi Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee on Tuesday approved a bill (SB 2795) that would tighten restrictions on medication abortion, the AP/Jackson Clarion-Ledger reports. The bill now advances to the full Senate. Meanwhile, a companion House measure died in committee on Tuesday.
The Senate measure, introduced by Sen. Angela Burks Hill (R), states that physicians must adhere to FDA protocols when administering abortion-inducing drugs. In practice, this would prohibit the use of medication abortion after seven weeks from a woman's last period; many doctors currently use the method up to nine weeks.
Felicia Brown-Williams, who lobbies for Planned Parenthood in Mississippi, said, "The FDA protocol for medical abortion is an outdated procedure and it's not commonly used."
The bill also would mandate that a woman return to the doctor's office to take the second of the two drugs used in a medication abortion, rather than taking the second pill at home. In total, a woman would be required to visit the office four times: before she receives the prescription, when she takes the first pill, when she takes the second pill and a follow-up two weeks later (AP/Jackson Clarion-Ledger, 2/5).
Repro Health Watch — an exciting new edition of the Women’s Health Policy Report — compiles and distributes media coverage of proposed and enacted state laws and ballot initiatives affecting women's access to comprehensive reproductive health care, as well as litigation in response to those provisions.