May 15, 2013 — The Missouri House on Monday approved a bill (HB 400) that would require a physician to be present when abortion-inducing drugs are administered, the AP/Kansas City Star reports. The measure now heads to Gov. Jay Nixon (R) (Blank, AP/Kansas City Star, 5/13).
Normally, a woman takes the first drug used for a medication abortion during her visit with the clinician and takes the second drug at home 24 to 48 hours later.
The bill -- which was approved last week by the state Senate -- also would require a physician or someone acting on his or her behalf to make a reasonable effort to ensure the woman comes back for a follow-up appointment, unless it has been confirmed that she is no longer pregnant (Women's Health Policy Report, 5/9).
Sam Lee of Campaign Life Missouri said the legislation helps ensure "that there would be no complications if [a woman] was given these drugs."
However, Paula Gianino -- CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri -- said the measure "put[s] more obstacles in front of wom[e]n who are seeking medication abortions." She added that 20% of abortion patients at the group's clinic in Missouri travel from more than 100 miles away (AP/Kansas City Star, 5/13).