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Wisconsin GOP Going After Webcam Abortions

Wisconsin GOP Going After Webcam Abortions

Early this week Wisconsin Senate Republicans passed a series of additional restrictions on women seeking abortions.  Like so many of these aggressively restrictive bills, their rhetoric is cloaked in “helping” and “protecting” women despite the fact the restrictions do neither.

SB 306 is deceptively called the Coercion and Webcam Abortion Prevention Bill and contains three main components. The first component requires doctors to speak alone and in person with a woman seeking an abortion and to inform her of services for victims of domestic abuse if they believe she’s being coerced into seeking an abortion. Current Wisconsin law has a lengthy script physicians must cover with patients 24 hours prior to the procedure but it does not specify that conversation happen “face-to-face.”

The bill also eliminates the possibility of “webcam” abortions by requiring doctors examine patients in person before prescribing abortion-inducing drugs like mifepristone. In neighboring states like Iowa and Minnesota, patients living in rural areas are able to have mifepristone prescribed via online video conference. This would not be an option for women living in rural Wisconsin.

Finally, the bill requires a woman return to an abortion clinic for a follow-up visit 12 to 18 days after being given the drug. Women who take mifepristone already have a follow-up visit, but most see their primary care physician for that follow-up. This bill forces women to have that follow-up visit at an abortion clinic, putting yet another unnecessary burden on the backs of women trying to access health care services.

The bill now moves to the Assembly before heading to Gov. Scott Walker’s desk where he is expected to sign it.

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Photo from libelul60 via flickr.

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123 comments

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4:10AM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

Bridget S and others. A webcam "visit" by the doctor may save the woman a long and expensive trip. The doctor and the patient are already familiar with eachother so it shouldn't be any problem with a prescription. Saves both time and money.
What I find really crazy (teabags and repukes aside) is that a woman will be required to go to an abortion clinic for the follow up since she easily could do that at a local doctor's office. This is all just to make it as inconvenient as possible for women to make their own decisions.
A few days I read a story about a woman that was forbidden to wear a t-shirt with the print: !If I wanted congress in my womb I'd f**k a senator".That line sums it all up!

7:35PM PDT on Mar 25, 2012

i can understand outlawing actual abortions via webcam but not a prescription, im sure these doctors understand all the risks involved and how many women have problems compared to the total and that is why they are comfortable doing it this way.

12:44PM PST on Feb 28, 2012

No one needs to go into the doctor's office for a pill abortion. The doctor gets your medical history online or by phone which tells all they need to know. There is nothing more an examination would tell them- what would they examine? In the pill abortion, the woman takes two pills and this induces a menstrual period which washes out the 1/2 inch clot of tissue. All women then go in for followup visits with their own family doctor. This GOP Christian Taliban just seeks to abuse women because deep inside they hate and disrespect women. That is the purpose of the christian religion and their bible which was written by sexist, homophobic men in the first place- to control women. Why is it that this one perfectly legal procedure is singled out for such attention by them?

11:13AM PST on Feb 28, 2012

Enough is enough Register, investigate every candidate and vote as if your life depended on it because it does. we need to get these nuts out of office for good.

8:33AM PST on Feb 27, 2012

wow what next

7:51AM PST on Feb 27, 2012

Shouldnt a doctor examine you to make sure that you are an appropriate candidate for an abortion pill and as a women wouldn't you want to be examined afterwards to make sure that you are ok? There are side effects of these drugs as well as an appropriate time to take them just as there are side effects to the procedure. Not sure I buy into the counseling thing but I dont see a problem with the medical examination.

3:59AM PST on Feb 27, 2012

Thanks for the article.

3:34AM PST on Feb 27, 2012

"Webcam abortion"--now, that sounds totally bizarre!!

12:18AM PST on Feb 27, 2012

thanks for the article

9:10PM PST on Feb 26, 2012

nancy d, wrote
The republicons want a smaller government to be able to fit into a woman uterus.

Sums it up well!

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