- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah senators have cut abortion restrictions from an otherwise mundane telemedicine proposal, saying they don’t want to overshadow legislation that aims to provide more health care access to rural residents.

Four Republicans and two Democrats on a Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted Tuesday to strip a ban on remotely prescribing abortion-inducing medications, saying it was a distraction from telemedicine, when doctors use images and webcams to remotely consult with patients.

The committee then approved the measure, sending it to the full Senate for debate.

Medication-induced abortion was the only procedure banned in the bill, which mainly addresses the way insurers reimburse doctors who provide telemedicine.

Republican Rep. Ken Ivory sponsors the legislation and says it’s important for that medication to be prescribed in person. Critics said it cut off rural women’s access to the procedure.

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