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Telemedicine Doctors Face Abortion Restriction Under Proposed Legislation

a photo of a doctor talking to a patient via computer
Under the proposed bill, doctors would not be able to prescribe abortion-inducing drugs to patients they treat via computer.

The percentage of medication induced abortions has been increasing each year. In 2018, about 30% of all abortions tracked by the Ohio Department of Health were medication induced. 

Now, a bill to prevent doctors from using telemedicine to provide abortion-inducing drugs has been introduced. But  backers of the bill don't know of any cases where that is happening in Ohio right now.

Ohio Right to Life’s Stephanie Ranade Krider says the bill would prevent a doctor from prescribing drugs to cause a non-surgical abortion via a computer-assisted consultation with a patient. But Ranade Krider admits none of these have been done in Ohio.

"To my knowledge, there aren't. There are already some pretty significant restrictions on how or when the abortion pill can be used.”

Kellie Copeland of NARAL ProChoice Ohio says she thinks sponsors have a different reason for the bill.

"If you want to eliminate abortion access, if you want to stigmatize the procedure and try to threaten people with false information, I guess this would be a great reason to do that.”

Ranade Krider says Iowa passed a similar bill in 2013 when abortion providers were talking about using it to serve more rural parts of the state.

A Northeast Ohio native, Sarah Taylor graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she worked at her first NPR station, WMUB. She began her professional career at WCKY-AM in Cincinnati and spent two decades in television news, the bulk of them at WKBN in Youngstown (as Sarah Eisler). For the past three years, Sarah has taught a variety of courses in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State, where she is also pursuing a Master’s degree. Sarah and her husband Scott, have two children. They live in Tallmadge.