Ohio Bill Would Keep FDA’s RU 486 Abortion Drug Regs in Place
by Maria Gallagher
May 21, 2004
Columbus, OH (LifeNews.com) — The Ohio Senate has approved a bill designed to crack down on those who violate federal regulations when distributing the dangerous abortion drug RU-486.
The measure, known as House Bill 126, passed the state Senate by a vote of 22-10.
According to Ohio Right to Life, the bill creates state criminal penalties for providing RU-486 to induce an abortion without following federal legal requirements regarding the use of the drug.
Under the bill, which passed the Ohio House last year, abortion practitioners must also
inform the state medical board whenever the drug leads to serious complications.
Proponents of the bill said it would allow the State Medical Board to discipline those who violate the regulations, while opponents claimed the pro-life lawmakers wanted to lock the Food and Drug Administration rules into place in case the agency loosens them.
Before passage, the Senate voted down two amendments designed to weaken the bill. The amendments were offered by Sen. Robert Hagan (D-Youngstown), who is pro-abortion.
The first Hagan amendment would have eliminated the requirement for reporting complications to the state medical board. Such complications have received national attention in light of the death of a California teenager who was given RU-486 by a local Planned Parenthood affiliate.
The second Hagan amendment would have allowed RU-486 to be dispensed in amounts or in a context not approved by the FDA if supported by “adequate study.” Backers of the bill viewed the amendment as a giant loophole which would have allowed those who distribute RU-486 to ignore the wishes of the FDA.
H.B. 126 was sponsored by Rep. Tom Brinkman, a Republican from Cincinnati.
Senators voting in favor of the legislation included Ron Amstutz, Jeffry Armbruster, Steve Austria, Louis Blessing, John Carey, Kevin Coughlin, Greg DiDonato, Randy Gardner, Robert Gardner, David Goodman, Bill Harris, Jay Hottinger, Jeff Jacobson, Jim Jordan, Larry Mumper, Scott Nein, Robert Schuler, Kirk Schuring, Bob Spada, Steve Stivers, Lynn Wachtmann, and Doug White.
Senators voting against the pro-life bill included: Daniel Brady, Marc Dann, Teresa Fedor, Eric Fingerhut, Robert Hagan, Mark Mallory, Ray Miller, C.J. Prentiss, Tom Roberts, and Kimberly Zurz.