As a continuation of the previous post, I wanted to include a brief summary and explanation of a Senate bill as well.
By Senator Allen
February 7, 2012
Synopsis: “This bill would establish the Abortion-Inducing Drug Safety Act. This bill would provide legislative findings and purposes. This bill would make it unlawful to administer any abortion-inducing drug to a woman without her receiving an exam by a physician. This bill would provide a physician with guidelines to follow in administering an abortion-inducing drug. This bill provides for criminal and civil penalties. Amendment 621 of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, now appearing as Section 111.05 of the Official Recompilation of the Constitution of Alabama of 1901, as amended, prohibits a general law whose purpose or effect would be to require a new or increased expenditure of local funds from becoming effective with regard to a local governmental entity without enactment by a 2/3 vote unless: it comes within one of a number of specified exceptions; it is approved by the affected entity; or the Legislature appropriates funds, or provides a local source of revenue, to the entity for the purpose. The purpose or effect of this bill would be to require a new or increased expenditure of local funds within the meaning of the amendment. However, the bill does not require approval of a local governmental entity or enactment by a 2/3 vote to become effective because it comes within one of the specified exceptions contained in the amendment.”
As a drug safety act, this bill is intended to protect women and make it unlawful “to administer any abortion-inducing drug to a woman without her receiving an exam by a physician.”
Many women do not realize the potential physical health consequences that may result from specific drugs or the off-brand of certain drugs. It is crucial to understand the risks in order to protect the safety and lives of women. This bill is able to emphasize those risks. The ramifications of this bill could reduce the amount of abortions that occur outside of a licensed, medical facility.
“This act may be known and cited as the Abortion-Inducing Drug Safety Act.” (section 1).
“The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug mifepristone, a first-generation (selective) progesterone receptor modulator (SPRM), as an abortion-inducing drug with a specific gestation, dosage, and administration protocol.” (section 2:1).
The bill continues to explain the treatment and FDA approved drug label for this particular drug in order to put stipulations on the administration of the drug. It limits the dosage to being administered only in a clinic, medical office, or hospital under the supervision of a physician.
A couple aspects of the bill that should not be overlooked:
“Court testimony by Planned Parenthood and other physicians demonstrates that physicians routinely fail to follow the mifepristone protocol as tested and approved by the FDA.” (section 2:4).
“The use of mifepristone presents significant medical risks to women.
Abortion-inducing drugs are associated with an increased risk of complications relative to surgical abortion. The risk of complications increases with increasing gestational age, and, in the instance of mifepristone, with failure to complete the two-step dosage process.
Off-label use of mifepristone can be deadly.” (section 2:5-7).
This bill is not limited to mifepristone, and is meant to protect women from dangerous and potentially deadly off-label use of abortion-inducing drugs.
A definition of the terms used in the bill is necessary for this kind of bill, and is also useful to read. For example, one important definition is that of the “unborn child: as the offspring of human beings from conception until birth.” (section 3:9).
Section 5 of the bill clearly lays out what the bill is intended for: “It shall be unlawful to provide a medical abortion to a woman without her being examined in person by a physician and as further required by this act.” (section 5:a).
“A person who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly violates any provision of this act is guilty of a Class C felony.” (section 7:a).
Although Class C felonies differ depending on what part of the country you are in, in Alabama a Class C felony might include: Criminally negligent homicide, Custody Interference, Criminal Tampering- 1st degree, Receiving stolen merchandise- 2nd degree. According to courtregistry.org, in a Class C felony, the convicted can be fined within a range of $1000 up to $10,000. Not only that, but according the Code of Alabama title 13A: criminal code 13A-5-6, the convicted is also subject to no less than one year and no more than ten years incarceration.
But what is also important to note about this bill is that it goes so far as to make this provision:
“Nothing in this act shall be construed as creating or recognizing a right to abortion. It is not the intention of this act to make lawful an abortion that is currently unlawful.” (section 9:a-b).
Although it is a long read, and these points do not cover the whole of the bill, I hope you are left with at least a better understanding of the bill and its ramifications. Maybe this has sparked your curiosity and I would encourage you to read and analyze these bills for yourself and determine what you support and how you might go about supporting it.
In case you are curious, other Pro-life senate bills include: SB10, SB12, SB20, SB96, and SB105. Look them up at ALISON! http://alisondb.legislature.state.al.us/acas/ACASLoginie.asp
Cassie, Sav-A-Life Intern
Cassie, Sav-A-Life Intern