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Abortion Measure, Designed to Repeal Telemedicine Restrictions, Surfaces at Idaho Statehouse


  • Idaho Legislature
A bill has surfaced at the Idaho Legislature that would unwind parts of two previously-passed anti-abortion measures.

"It gives me great heartache to bring this before you. In 26 years of fighting for the right to life, I haven't had to come before the Legislature and ask you to repeal part of your work," said David Ripley, executive director of Idaho Chooses Life.

In 2015, the Legislature passed two laws designed to ban women from receiving a medication-induced abortion via telemedicine. Soon after, Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest launched a federal lawsuit against the measures. U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled in January the Legislature must repeal the law that required a physician to be present for a medication-induced abortion and eliminate the abortion provision from the telemedicne law by the end of 2017. If the Legislature failed to do so, Winmill ruled, both laws would be considered unconstitutional.

"We're asking you to repeal the ban on telemedicine abortions in hopes that we can return to fight this battle on another day," Ripley told the Idaho House State Affairs Committee.

Ripley's proposed measure will still need to be subjected to a full public hearing. The House State Affairs Committee voted to grant such a hearing, which is expected to occur in the final weeks of the current session.

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