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Bill to expand who can prescribe chemical abortions approved by Delaware Senate, bill goes to Governor Carney’s desk

by | Apr 8, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

On a vote of 14-7, the Delaware Senate passed House Bill 320, “legislation that would expand the ability to prescribe abortion-inducing medication beyond physicians,” Mike Lang reported. The vote was strictly along party lines with all Democrats voting in favor, all Republicans in opposition. 

The House previously passed HB 320 on a party-line vote of 25-15. It now heads to Gov. John Carney who has not officially taken a position. 

Republican Sen. Bryant Richardson said few bills come before the Senate “that cause me to lose sleep. We’re talking about a bill to end human life. I think as a society we ought to do better than that.”

Lang reported that Richardson

[S]aid there are risks involved with this medication, which is one reason why only physicians should be able to administer it. Those risks include bleeding, stomach and uterine cramps, lower potassium and severe allergic reactions, he said. Medical abortions, he continued, are more likely than surgical abortions to end up with a visit to the emergency room.

Richardson also read a letter from diocesan lobbyist Joseph Fitzgerald that outlined the Diocese of Wilmington’s objection to the bill and to abortion itself. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops are opposed to any efforts to expand abortion access, he has said.

“I’m sure that a big part of that is just because of the risk,” Richardson said.

The bill “would allow physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses to prescribe medication used for abortions,” Meredith Newman reported for the Delaware News Journal. “Current state law allows only physicians to write prescriptions for these medications, which include Mifeprex, Mifepristone, and Misoprostol.”

Democrats, of course, touted how “safe” medication abortions are.

Republicans asked a series of questions. For example, Richardson asked Sen. Kyle Evans Gay (D) how risk would be handled. “Gay said HB320 has ‘no bearing on medical malpractice responsibility.’”

Senator Colin Bonini “wanted to know whether these medications could be prescribed in school health clinics. Gay said she stood by her previous comments that these clinics would not be covered under the bill. She said availability in schools would be a separate discussion.”

The bill “would allow physician assistants and advanced practice registered nurses to prescribe medication used for abortions,” Meredith, “Current state law allows only physicians to write prescriptions for these medications, which include Mifeprex, Mifepristone, and Misoprostol.

Sen. Dave Lawson “said he didn’t see a redemptive purpose to the bill.”

“We have passed laws in this country that I would say are not good,” he said. “When a life is taken, whether you can see it or not, it’s still a life.”

Categories: State Legislation
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