Legislation targeting abortion medication does not ban Plan B in Tennessee

Published: May. 9, 2022 at 6:51 PM CDT|Updated: May. 10, 2022 at 5:39 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - In light of the leaked SCOTUS draft on Roe v. Wade pro-choice advocates worry some states will go further, not only banning abortions but banning or severely restricting access to contraceptives.

In Tennessee, there is some confusion regarding a law Gov. Bill Lee passed last week.

Gov. Lee signed House Bill 2416 which criminalizes abortion-inducing drugs that are provided by mail.

While Plan B is an emergency contraceptive and is not impacted by this law, Tennessee State Senator Raumesh Akbari is questioning why this bill was signed.

“The legislation is completely unnecessary,” said Akbari.

Akbari says this bill would make it more difficult to get this medication.

“Right now if you were to receive abortion-inducing drugs you could go to your doctor, your doctor would write the prescription, you would pick it up from a pharmacist, take those pills in the comfort of your home,” said Akbari.

As written the bill states the drugs may only be provided by a qualified physician, and the patient must be examined in person.

“I think that it’s a part of a move to make it more difficult for telemedicine appointments that would prescribe this type of pill,” said Akbari.

If a person violates this law, they can face a Class E felony and can be fined up to $50,000, sentenced up to 20 years in prison, or both.

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves was asked in a CNN interview if Mississippi would outlaw contraception, Reeves would not provide a definitive answer.

“That is not what we’re focused on at this time,” said Reeves.

Action News 5 reached out to Governor Lee why he felt the need to pass this law but we have not heard back.

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