Doctor-Lawyer Granted Permission to Represent Idaho Woman


A doctor who is also a lawyer has been granted permission to intervene in the case of an Idaho woman challenging the Gem State's anti-abortion law and a new law that makes abortion after 20 weeks a felony.

A Pocatello woman, Jennie Linn McCormack, was charged with violating Idaho's ban on late-term abortions for using pregnancy termination pills that she ordered online. McCormack said the law was not in effect when she terminated her pregnancy in December of 2010, but she also argued that the law was discriminatory. McCormack, a mother of three with an income of $200-$250 a month, said a trip to Utah for a surgical abortion would have been difficult. Instead, she took abortion-inducing pills and left a stillborn fetus on her porch.

On Wednesday, Rick Hearn, who is representing McCormack, was granted a motion to intervene not only as an attorney but as a physician. Hearn told the Associated Press that he hasn't practiced medicine for about six years, and has never performed an abortion. He said the "case wasn't about him, but McCormack's right to choose."