January 7, 2013 — Texas Sen. Dan Patrick (R) plans to introduce legislation that would create new protocols for physicians who provide medication abortions, the Victoria Advocate/Huffington Post reports.
The bill would require physicians to personally administer all drugs in the medication abortion regimen, even if they must be taken on separate days. Physicians also would be required to schedule a follow-up visit within two weeks of administering the drugs, in order to confirm that the woman is no longer pregnant.
Before the drugs are taken, physicians would be required to examine the pregnant woman, chart the gestational age and intrauterine location of the pregnancy, and develop an emergency plan for any potential complications. In the event of a drug-related emergency, the bill would require the doctor to report the events to FDA within three days or face possible disciplinary action from the Texas Medical Board.
Opponents of the measure say it would raise the costs of abortion services and the drugs, thus escalating barriers to abortion for low-income women, especially those who live in rural areas and have to travel long distances to an abortion provider (Preyss, Victoria Advocate/Huffington Post, 1/3).