JEFFERSON CITY, MO, July 12, 2013 ( – The Democratic governor of Missouri has refused to sign a bill effectively banning the procedure of telemed abortions in the state, instead allowing the bill to become law without his signature.

Jay Nixon did not veto the bill, which requires a physician to be present when a woman takes the first dose of abortion-inducing drugs. The abortionist's office must also attempt to see the woman for a follow-up.

Pro-life activists warn that the regulations are vital for women's health.


“The complications are greater for medical abortion than surgical,” researcher Jacqueline C. Harvey told These include incomplete abortion, the aborted child not being fully expelled from the mother's womb, or even “horrible birth defects” including “missing digits [and] webbed fingers.”

Governor Nixon said allowing the law to go into effect by taking no action is “one of the rights of this position.” He had allowed previous pro-life laws to take effect without vetoing or affixing his signature to them.

Ten states already have laws against doctors prescribing abortifacients by video link. Legislators in North Carolina passed a similar bill this week.

Texas legislators have written a similar provision requiring a physician's presence into a bill that would end abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy. Lawmakers are still debating it as of this writing.