H.B. 154: Amendments Approved, Making it Constitutional
After receiving a favorable recommendation by the House Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee on January 30th, H.B. 154–“Telehealth Amendments”–was passed to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee for review. The Senate hearing set for the morning of February 13th did not allow time for public comment so it was held and the committee re-convened this afternoon.
During the Senate hearing today, Senator Brian E. Shiozawa, MD, who is supportive of the telehealth portion of bill, cited the bill’s unconstitutionality due to the limiting last four lines that state, “A practitioner treating a patient through telehealth services…may not issue a prescription through electronic prescribing for a drug or treatment to cause abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or if the life of the mother would be endangered without an abortion.” He suggested amending H.B. 154 to remove those last few lines of an otherwise “good bill.” The Health and Human Sciences committee voted to approve this amendment 6-2. The floor was then opened for comment regarding the now amended bill. Psarah Johnson, Caucus Director from Utah Women Unite, thanked Sen. Shiozawa and the committee for the amendments to this bill, saying telehealth in general is “so needed down in our rural communities.”
You can listen to the entire meeting here.