Abortion-Inducing Drug Safety Act Introduced in the Ohio House

Legislation to Stop Abortionists from Using Drugs Off-Label

COLUMBUS, Ohio--Today, Representatives Tom Brinkman (R-Cincinnati) and Christina Hagan (R-Alliance) introduced the Abortion-Inducing Drug Safety Act (H.B. 255) in the Ohio House of Representatives. 

The legislation would limit use of abortion-inducing drugs to those labeled expressly for such purpose by the FDA. Currently, Mifeprex (mifepristone) is the only such drug labeled for the purpose of inducing abortion in the United States. Although the combination of mifepristone and misoprostol is still the most common drug regimen used in chemical abortions, Ohio has seen a significant increase in the number of chemical abortions using other drugs like methotrexate, a drug labeled for use as a chemotherapy agent.

27_-_Tom_Brinkman.jpg50_-_Christina_Hagan.jpg"We know that abortion is never a 'safe' procedure because its goal is the death of an innocent baby," said Stephanie Ranade Krider, executive director of Ohio Right to Life. "Ohio Right to Life is proposing this legislation in order to protect unborn babies from being subjected to any number of toxic combinations, the effects of which are not always certain death, but almost always guarantee severe damage in utero in the case of a failed abortion, and to protect mothers from untested methods which may carry serious complications to their own health." 

Following an unheard of 79 percent drop in non-surgical abortions in 2011, between 2012 and 2013, methotrexate abortions increased significantly and mifepristone abortions increased slightly. (See Ohio Abortion Reports for 2011-2013.) Nationally, there have been over 2,200 adverse events associated with the use of mifepristone, including 14 deaths. (See FDA Adverse Events Summary.

"Ensuring women's healthcare is top notch should be a priority of this legislature," said Representative Christina Hagan. "There should be no room for compromise when administering drugs out of context that can be and are harmful to a woman's health." 

In 2004, Ohio was the first state to codify into state law a requirement that any prescriber of mifepristone in Ohio must follow the FDA-approved protocol in dispensing the drug. In effect, this limits the use of mifepristone to the first seven weeks of gestation, and requires a total of three visits to the prescribing physician by the patient. Additionally, Ohio law requires the drug to be personally furnished by a physician, and requires that any adverse incidents involving the medication be reported to the State Medical Board. While the law was challenged and is still in litigation, it became enforceable in 2012.< /p>

"This bill is a logical progression from the bill I sponsored in 2004," said Representative Tom Brinkman. "It will help safe guard women and their unborn children from this terrible practice."

Paula Westwood, executive director of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati in Representative Brinkman's district, supports the legislation as part of the organization's concentrated effort to regulate chemical abortions and their larger effort to end abortion. 

Founded in 1967, Ohio Right to Life, with more than 45 chapters and local affiliates, is Ohio's oldest and largest grassroots pro-life organization. Recognized as the flagship of the pro-life movement in Ohio, ORTL works through legislation and education to promote and defend innocent human life from conception to natural death. 


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Unborn Child Dignity Act

S.B. 254 & H.B. 417/419