Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed a bill Thursday criminalizing abortion-inducing drugs that are provided via mail.
The measure, known as HB2416, establishes criminal penalties for offenders, but would not apply to the patient who was provided the abortion drugs.
The legislation sets strict parameters around abortion-inducing drugs. The drugs “may be provided only by a qualified physician,” the bill says, stipulating also that a “manufacturer, supplier, pharmacy, physician, qualified physician, or other person may not provide an abortion-inducing drug via courier, delivery, or mail service.”
The bill also lays out other limitations including: the patient must be examined in-person, the doctor must “inform the patient that the patient may see the remains of the unborn child in the process of completing the abortion,” the physician must schedule a follow-up appointment within two weeks, and none of the abortion-inducing drugs can be provided on elementary, secondary, or post-secondary school facilities.
“An individual who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly violates this bill commits a Class E felony and, upon conviction, will be fined an amount not to exceed $50,000, be imprisoned for a term not to exceed 20 years, or both,” the bill sets forth, noting a criminal penalty will not be leveled against the patient.
Tennessee is one of several states with “trigger laws” that could go into effect if the Supreme Court ruling known as Roe v. Wade is overturned.
State law contains a provision that would prohibit all abortions except those that would prevent the death of the mother and would go into effect 30 days after the Roe ruling is struck down. Medical providers could be charged with a felony for violating the law.