Tele-Med Abortion Ban Bill Passes Tennessee Senate

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The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

The “Tennessee Abortion-Inducing Drug Risk Protocol Act”, a bill that would penalize physicians for prescribing abortion inducing drugs via telehealth appointments, passed a Senate floor vote 26 to 4 on Thursday. All 4 of the dissenting votes came from Democratic Senators.

Stacy Dunn, President of Tennessee Right to Life, said, “The in-person oversight makes sense for the women who may suffer from complications and side effects of a chemical abortion. The abortion industry would rather not deal with visits that cut into their profits, but the Tennessee General Assembly took the needed steps to ensure that women are protected from those who would profit from a no visit, no care “mailbox” chemical abortion.”

The summary of the bill with amendment 015315 which was adopted by the Senate is as follows:

Enacts the Tennessee Abortion Inducing Drug Risk Protocol Act. States that an abortion-inducing drug may be provided only by a qualified physician and sets the procedures that must be taken by that physician prior to and following providing an abortion-inducing drug. Creates a Class E felony for anyone who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly violates this act. States that failure to comply with this act provides a basis for a civil malpractice action against a healthcare provider. 

The bill also provides critical oversight for patients prescribed abortion-inducing drugs.

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The amendment states:

(a) Because the failure and complication rates from a chemical abortion increase with advancing gestational age and because the physical symptoms of chemical abortion can be identical to the symptoms of ectopic pregnancy and abortion-inducing drugs do not treat ectopic pregnancies and are contraindicated in ectopic pregnancies, a qualified physician providing an abortion-inducing drug shall examine the patient in person and, prior to providing an abortion-inducing drug: (1) Independently verify that a pregnancy exists; (2) Determine the patient’s blood type, and, if the patient is Rh negative, offer to administer RhoGAM at the time of the abortion; (3) Inform the patient that the patient may see the remains of the unborn child in the process of completing the abortion; and (4) Document, in the patient’s medical chart, the gestational age and intrauterine location of the pregnancy, and whether the patient received treatment for Rh negativity, as diagnosed by the most accurate standard of medical care.

(b) A qualified physician providing an abortion-inducing drug must be credentialed and competent to handle complication management, including emergency transfer, or must have a signed agreement with an associated physician who is credentialed to handle complications and be able to produce the signed agreement on demand by the patient or the department. 

Physicians will also be required to schedule follow-up visits for patients 7-14 days after administration of abortion-inducing drugs to assess the patient at that time and make reasonable efforts to get the patient to return for the appointment to make sure there are no complications.


Nashville Democratic Senators Raumesh Akbari (District 29), Heidi Campbell (District 20) and Jeff Yarbro (District 21) all voiced their disapproval of the bill saying it limited women’s access to healthcare and did not protect women.

Before the vote was taken, bill sponsor Senator Mike Bell (R-Riceville-District 9) shared statistics from the FDA about abortion-inducing drugs. As of March 2020, there have been 4,480 adverse events after women have taken them. Of these, 1,283 resulted in a hospital visit, 339 required a blood transfusion, 256 suffered infection, 48 a severe infection and 27 women died.

“This bill is about women’s health,” said Bell. “It’s about protecting women’s health.”

Stacy Dunn of TN Right to Life said, “Tennessee continues to lead the nation in readying itself to be safe and responsible if and when Roe is overturned. We will continue to seek every opportunity to fine tune legislation and close loop holes so that the abortion industry cannot prey on Tennessee women and their unborn children.”

About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at

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