Tennessee governor signs bill criminalizing abortion drugs in the mail

The measure, known as HB2416, establishes criminal penalties for violators, but would not apply to the patient who received the abortion drugs.

Legislation sets strict parameters for abortifacient drugs. Drugs “may only be supplied by a qualified physician,” the bill says, also stating that a “manufacturer, supplier, pharmacy, physician, qualified medical practitioner or other person may not supply an abortion-inducing drug by courier, delivery or courier.”

The bill also sets out other limitations, including: the patient must be examined in person, the physician must “inform the patient that she may see the remains of the unborn child during the abortion process,” the doctor must schedule a follow-up appointment within two weeks, and no abortion-inducing drugs can be provided in primary, secondary or post-secondary schools.

“An individual who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly violates this bill commits a Class E felony and, if convicted, will be fined an amount not to exceed $50,000, imprisonment not exceeding 20 years, or both,” the bill states, noting that no criminal penalty will be imposed on the patient.

Tennessee is one of several states with “trigger laws” that could go into effect if the Supreme Court ruling known as Roe v. Wade is canceled.

The state law contains a provision that would ban all abortions except those that would prevent the death of the mother and would take effect 30 days after the Roe ruling is overturned. Medical providers could be charged with a felony for breaking the law.


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