Tennessee Republican Introduces Bill to Ban Medication Abortion Nationwide

Rep. Andy Ogles debuted the anti-abortion legislation on International Safe Abortion Day—a day to, well, support safe abortions.

Tennessee Republican Introduces Bill to Ban Medication Abortion Nationwide
Photo:Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc (Getty Images)

Rep. Andy Ogles (R-Tenn.) continued the right’s war on abortion access on Thursday. Joining the notoriously anti-abortion group Students for Life Action on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, Ogles debuted legislation to ban medication abortion nationwide on the 23rd anniversary of the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of mifepristone, one of the two medications commonly used in medication abortion.

The attack on medication abortion also came on International Safe Abortion Day, an advocacy day to, well, support safe abortions worldwide.

“I’m taking a stand against the irresponsibility of the Democrats and working to protect women and girls across America,” Ogles said on Thursday morning.

Not only is medication abortion the most used abortion protocol in America, it’s also incredibly safe. Medication abortion typically uses a two-pill protocol: mifepristone, the medication currently under attack in the courts, and misoprostol. Mifepristone is safer than low-risk drugs such as Viagra and penicillin. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and 11 leading medical organizations told the federal courts that “the risk of death [from mifepristone] is almost non-existent.”

This has not stopped Students for Life Action from attacking medication abortion from all sides. Last November, the group filed a citizen’s petition to the FDA to require abortion providers to dispose of any and all tissue in a red medical waste bag on the off chance that fetal remains make it into the wastewater. Abortion pills are only recommended through 12 weeks of pregnancy, and an actual early stage pregnancy looks like a clump or clot from a normal menstrual cycle. People often mistake miscarriages for a heavy period and flush them every single day. That didn’t stop the group from using this “next innovation” against abortion.

Abortion providers were quick to point out the misinformation given at Ogles’ press conference for the legislation.

“Harassing and shaming people who need access to abortion care has always been a long relied upon, deceitful tactic used by anti-abortion extremists across the country,” Dr. Jamila Perritt, president and CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health and an OBGYN in Washington, D.C., said in a statement. “These most recent attacks on mifepristone are just another example of how far anti-abortion extremists will go to mislead and misinform the public about their health care options.”

Last year, Students for Life Action helped pass 18 anti-abortion laws across the country and introduce 29 anti-abortion bills at the federal and state levels, including similar medication abortion restriction or bans. The group’s biggest success has been supporting a state-level ban on distributing abortion pills in Wyoming; however, a judge temporarily blocked that law from taking effect, leaving abortion pills legal in the state.

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