Tennessee’s abortion pill distribution will be strictly regulated shortly, thanks to legislation that was recently signed into law by Republican Governor Bill Lee.
Lee signed the bill into law on Thursday, and it will go into effect on January 1, 2023, as previously announced. Medical professionals must administer abortion pills in person, even though federal statutes allow for nationwide mail delivery of abortion pills under certain conditions.
With the most recent release of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion, it appears that the court is prepared to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which established abortion rights nationwide. If Roe is overturned in Tennessee, which is one of 13 states that have so-called “trigger” laws in place, abortion would be illegal in that state as well.
A total of 19 states have severely restricted access to pharmacological abortion at the moment. To obtain abortion pills in Tennessee, anyone interested must call a doctor in advance and then return to the doctor’s office to pick up the pills, which are now banned under the state’s new law.
Medication distribution must be restricted to pharmacists to ensure that the medications are provided by competent physicians. It is illegal to break the law, and those who do so may face fines of up to $50,000 for Class E felony.
The FDA’s decision earlier this year to no longer require women to pick up the abortion medicine in person, according to abortion law experts, raises the question of whether states can impose restrictions on access to abortion pills. The ability for women in the United States to obtain a prescription online and have the tablets delivered to their homes has now been made available.
According to the Associated Press, a lecturer at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, recently emphasized that “the typical norm is that competing state laws are preempted by federal legislation.”
There has been no legal challenge to Tennessee’s new limits in the state courts.
Aside from the American Medical Association’s opposition, medical organizations have long argued that the in-person requirement is unnecessary because it does not provide any demonstrable advantages to patients.
Since 2000, when the FDA approved mifepristone, the major drug used in medication abortions, the number of abortions in the United States has increased. Abortion pills are now used for more than half of all abortions in the US, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a pro-choice research group.
It’s necessary to take two different medications. Mifepristone, the first drug, prevents the body from making a hormone essential to pregnancy. Misoprostol, a second medicine, is taken one to two days after the first, and it removes the uterus. Both medications are generic and can be used to treat a variety of different ailments.