May 7, 2020

Pennsylvania Governor Vetoes Telemedicine Expansion Bill for Using FDA Standards on Abortion Pills

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a bill Wednesday that would have expanded the availability of telemedicine, which could have saved lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. His reason? The bill included a ban on drugs not approved under the FDA's Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) standards.

In response to criticism, Gov. Wolf said, “As amended, this bill interferes with women’s health care and the crucial decision-making between patients and their physicians.”

The REMS requires that abortionists be physically present to provide abortion pills to women because the pills are linked to dangerous complications such as hemorrhage and even death if they are given to women with undiagnosed conditions such as ectopic pregnancy. Gov. Wolf's veto not only doesn't reverse the FDA policy, but it prevents Pennsylvanians from the opportunity to receive other important medication through telemedicine.

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