February 4, 2015 — The Arkansas House on Monday voted 83-4 to approve a measure (HB 1076) that would require physicians to administer medication abortion drugs in person, the Southwest Times Record reports.
The bill now heads to the state Senate for consideration. According to the Times Record, 20 of the 34 state senators are co-sponsoring the measure (Lyon, Southwest Times Record, 2/3).
The measure, introduced by state Rep. Julie Mayberry (R), would require providers to administer the drugs in person and "make all reasonable efforts" to see a woman who took the drugs within 12 to 18 days for a follow-up. The bill would allow the woman who received the abortion or the man involved in the pregnancy to sue a physician who does not follow the requirements (Women's Health Policy Report, 2/2).
During debate on the measure, Mayberry said the bill would preemptively ban the use of telemedicine in abortion care, which does not currently take place in the state (Southwest Times Record, 2/3).
Separately, state Rep. John Walker (D), who voted against the measure, said the bill would "mak[e] it very difficult for people of low means, where medical care is limited, to have equal access to health care" (Reed, AP/Gulfport Sun Herald, 2/2).