Plan B pills are still legal in Tennessee and Missouri, contrary to social media claims

Abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protesters demonstrate outside the Supreme Court on Dec. 1, 2021. Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images.

“We hold that deer and Casey must be overturned,” Judge Samuel Alito wrote in the document. “It is time to respect the Constitution and to return the question of abortion to the elected representatives of the people.

As we wrote, jurisdiction would then revert to the states, likely setting up a patchwork of abortion restrictions and rights across the country.

Meanwhile, the leaked court opinion has sparked misleading interpretations and misrepresentations, including concerns that “trigger lawssurrounding abortion will result in several states. A “trigger law” refers to legislation that exists but can only be applied if specific circumstances are met or changed.

Several social media posts falsely claim that Plan B birth control pills have been banned or will be banned by new abortion laws in Tennessee and Missouri.


Another Facebook post says, “Tennessee banned plan b, we can never have nice shit here.”

A Facebook post shifts focus to Missouri, saying, “They just banned plan Bs in Missouri. Obviously I don’t use them, but you’ll all be easy.

But neither Tennessee nor Missouri bans Plan B. Although both states have recently passed or advanced legislation restricting access to abortions and abortion pills, Plan B has not been included in the laws. The pills are always legal and available and will not be affected by current bills.

The abortion pill – which is different from Plan B — is a safe and effective way to end an early pregnancy using the medications mifepristone and misoprostol.

Plan B, also known as the morning after pill, is an emergency contraceptive used to prevent pregnancy in women who have had unprotected sex or whose birth control method has failed, according to the Mayo Clinic. Morning after pills contain either levonorgestrel or ulipristal acetate.

Tennessee Restricts Abortion Pills, Not Plan B

There are 13 states — including Missouri and Tennessee — which have passed trigger laws to ban abortion if Roe is overthrown.

from Tennessee trigger law, there “Human Life Protection Act“, passed in 2019, makes abortion illegal and a crime for doctors, while women seeking abortions would be exempt from prosecution.

On May 5, Republican Governor Bill Lee signed into law House Bill 2416, or the “Tennessee Abortion-Inducing Drug Risk Protocol Act.” This act replaces that of Tennessee current law restrict the use of abortion pills only under the physical supervision of a doctor. The law requires medical clinicians to follow a list of procedures set out in the bill, including being physically present when abortion pills are administered to a patient – ​​even though federal regulations allow mail delivery nationwide . Federal regulations allow pills to be mailed in any state that does not prohibit the practice.

Delivery of abortion pills by post is forbidden in Tennessee under the new law. Those who would like to use the pills would be required to consult a doctor beforehand and then wait 48 hours before taking the pills under the supervision of the doctor.

The law takes effect on January 1, 2023. It classifies the offense as a Class E felony and, if convicted, doctors who break the law can be fined up to $50,000.. The legislation also states that “no penal sanction shall be imposed on a patient on whom a chemical abortion is attempted or performed”.

Laura Hermerprofessor at the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, who has expertise in reproductive rights, abortion and public healthtold us in a phone interview that the wording of the Tennessee bill does not indicate that Plan B would be prohibited in that state.

“Plan B prevents an egg from implanting in the uterus. This all happens before the pregnancy can actually be confirmed. When [the bills] talk about abortion, they talk about a clinically diagnosable pregnancy,” Hermer said.

“Plan B is taken within 72 hours of intercourse. You cannot be diagnosed with a pregnancy at this time, it is not possible. Further in the text of the bill (HB 2416 ), they mention that a doctor must independently verify that a pregnancy exists. [the point one would use a Plan B pill],” she added. “To say that Plan B pills would or should be included in bills would be wrong. That would be a mistake.

Missouri Bill does not regulate contraception

May 10a Missouri Senate Committee advanced a resolution that would ban all abortions in the state, except in medical emergencies, if Roe v. Wade was canceled. The law has no exception for rape or incest.

On May 10, a Senate committee from Missouri Advanced a resolution who would issue a triggering law voted in 2019 prohibit abortion if Roe v. Wade was to be canceled. the straight allows an exception for “medical emergencies”. The law also criminalizes performing an abortion, but specifies that a person seeking an abortion would not be prosecuted.

The resolution refers to Section 188.017, quoted as theLaw on the right to life of the unborn child,of House Bill 126, also known as “Missouri Represents Unborn Children Law” — a trigger law adopted in 2019 which prohibits abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy and makes inducing an abortion a class B felony. A class B felony is punishable by five to 15 years less Missouri Law. Women wishing to abort would be exempt from prosecution.

Two more bills, Missouri House Bill 2810 and his counterpart in the Senate, Senate Bill 1178were introduced to “amend the provisions relating to abortion”. The bills would be do it a Class B felony for a person or entity to commit the offense of trafficking causing abortion devices or drugs.

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