September 23, 2019

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Legal Voice & Planned Parenthood Challenge Idaho 'Physicians-Only' Law

12/14/2018

This is shocking: 95% of Idaho counties do not have an abortion provider.

 

A major reason is that a decades-old Idaho law requires abortions to be performed exclusively by physicians. So while many Idahoans rely on advanced practice clinicians (APCs) – such as nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives, and physician assistants – to meet their reproductive health care needs, they are banned from providing abortion care.

 

So we’re demanding change.

 

Today, we partnered with Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands to challenge Idaho’s outdated law in court. Our argument is simple: As medical best practices evolve, so must the laws that govern them.

 

And medical best practices have evolved. Years of research show that APCs can provide early abortion care as safely and effectively as physicians. Indeed, APCs are already performing numerous procedures that are at least as complex as abortion, including delivering babies. They even provide miscarriage care to patients using medications and techniques that are identical to those used to administer most abortions. But they are prohibited from providing this same care to patients seeking abortion services.

 

Laws like Idaho’s were created in the wake of Roe v. Wade as a means to protect people seeking abortion care from unlicensed providers. But today, they are used as yet another tactic to limit access to abortion care. And like other restrictions on abortion, this law is especially harmful for those who already face barriers to health care—including people of color, people with low-incomes or without insurance, and people living in rural areas.

 

We are confident that the court will agree that Idaho’s physician-only requirement does nothing to protect the safety of patients, but instead restricts access to safe, effective, and affordable abortion care. Please join us in dismantling this medically unjustified law!

 

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