Telemedicine

Ada County Statehouse Capitol Building House Chambers Entrance
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho lawmakers advanced a bill that would reverse two anti-abortion laws if passed.

Earlier this year, a federal judge told Idaho lawmakers that he would strike down two anti-abortion laws if they don’t reverse those measures at the state level. In 2015, Idaho passed two laws that banned women from being prescribed abortion-inducing medicine through telemedicine.

www.plannedparenthood.org

Women will no longer be banned from receiving abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine in Idaho under a newly reached agreement.

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands announced Monday that the lawsuit settlement lifts unnecessary burdens on women seeking safe abortions.

The organization's lawsuit was directed at two laws passed in 2015 that required doctors to be present when administering pregnancy-ending pills.

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn two recently passed Idaho laws that ban women from receiving abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine.

Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest in a lawsuit filed Tuesday says that the laws, signed by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter this year, create an undue burden on women seeking abortions.

The new laws require doctors to be present when administering pregnancy-ending pills. It also requires doctors to make "all reasonable efforts" to schedule a follow-up, but it does not specify how many days later.

The Idaho Senate has passed legislation banning women from receiving abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine — an option not available in the state — on a 27-7 party-line vote.

The Senate's seven Democrats opposed the bill Monday, arguing the proposal improperly regulated how doctors should administer care.

Republican Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll from Cottonwood countered that the bill protects women against so-called "webcam abortions," because rarely medical abortions result in surgery.

Charles Williams / Flickr Creative Commons

The practice of doctors treating patients over the phone, online or by videoconferencing is a growing subset of the health care system.

The Idaho Legislature passed a bill this year calling for stakeholders to set state standards for the practice of telemedicine. Lawmakers see telemedicine as an option to bring health care to sparsely populated rural areas and address a severe doctor shortage in the state.