Bill to Restrict Abortion-Inducing Drugs Sparks Wider Debate in Texas

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The abortion fight in Texas is heating up once again. Tweet the news:

It all started when Senate Bill (SB) 97, which would place greater restrictions on the distribution and prescription of abortion-inducing medications, was introduced into the Texas Senate by Senator Dan Patrick in November.

Last month, the bill was read and assigned to the State Senate Health and Human Services Committee. A hearing took place on February 26.

During the committee hearing, Senator Patrick argued that the bill would simply adopt the FDA guidelines as the standard for regulation, thereby making women safer.

“I don’t know if they are violating law, but they are violating the best practices recommended for the safety of women,” said Senator Patrick when asked by Senator Bob Deuell, the vice chair of the committee, whether any laws were actually being broken.

The legislation was written by Dan Patrick with the assistance of pro-life activist, Abby Johnson.

The bill created a path for additional anti-abortion bills to be introduced in the Senate:

  • SB 25, which relates to abortion at or after 20 weeks post fertilization.
  • SB 537, which creates minimum standards for abortion facilities.
  • SB 1198, which creates requirements for physicians who perform abortions.

Those involved include members of the Health and Human Services Committee, including senators Bob Deuell, Larry Taylor, Charles Schwertner. These men have all either authored or co-authored the bills.

Others involved include Senator Donna Campbell, the author of SB 25 and SB 537.

Opposition towards the bill claims it intrudes on the doctor-patient relationship and that FDA regulations are thirteen years old.

On its website, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas claims:

The bill would require doctors to enter into several contractual relationships with other doctors and be subjected to reporting requirements before prescribing a drug that is safely used to terminate a woman’s pregnancy at the earliest stages. The bill would require unnecessarily high dosages of drugs and force a woman to travel back and forth to a clinic unnecessarily.

Senator Dan Patrick’s bill has since been left pending in committee. At this time, it is uncertain when the bill will be up for a vote.