Crosswhite Hader Bill Would Penalize Purveyance of Abortion-Inducing Drugs
OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Denise Crosswhite Hader, R-Piedmont, has filed legislation that would penalize with a felony anyone who distributes or possesses with the intent to distribute abortion-inducing drugs when the intent is to cause an abortion.
House Bill 3013 would result in a felony upon conviction for any person who knows or has reason to know that another person intends to use an abortion-inducing drug to cause an unlawful abortion and who knowingly or intentionally delivers an abortion-inducing drug to that person; possesses an abortion-inducing drug with the intent to deliver the drug to that person or offers or advertises the drug for sale or delivers to that person; or who commits trafficking of the drug. The penalty is consistent with the current penalty for performing an illegal abortion in an effort to create constancy.
The act does not apply to a pharmacist or manufacturer or distributor of surgical supplies who lawfully manufactures, possesses, offers, sells, or distributes, in the usual course of that entity's business or profession, any drug, medicine or instrument intended for any lawful medical purpose. Under state law, abortions can only be performed to preserve the life of the mother in a medical emergency.
"Abortion-inducing drugs pose great physical and mental threat to women who use them for this purpose" Crosswhite Hader said. "I'm concerned that a woman given these drugs to take in isolation could die by herself, and they could keep her from being able to carry to term a pregnancy at a later date should that be desired."
Under the provisions of the act, a person convicted of trafficking or attempting to traffic abortion-inducing drugs shall be guilty of a felony punishable by a fine not to exceed $100,000 or by imprisonment for a term not to exceed 10 years or by both.
Crosswhite Hader said her goal is to protect women's health by stopping the trafficking or sharing of abortion-inducing drugs. She said there are numerous reports of women being given these drugs by non-medical professionals who do not understand what the medications can do to a woman if administered incorrectly.
The drugs are often taken in isolation. This leaves the woman to go through cramping and bleeding and the shedding of her pregnancy with no medical expert on hand to help her through not only the physical pain and after-effects of the drugs, but also the mental anguish that can result from seeing her pre-term pregnancy in a non-viable state.
She said just like legislators enacted punishments for adults who give alcohol to minors, penalties are attached in this act to hopefully give people who would distribute these drugs pause.
Crosswhite Hader said even more alarming are reports that only the second drug in a two-drug sequence are being given in some instances. The first drug is intended to stop the growth of the pregnancy. The second is to evacuate. To give the second drug without the first presents a greater danger to the woman, she said.
If signed into law, the act would become effective Nov. 1. The bill will be eligible for consideration during the upcoming legislative session, which starts Feb. 5.