February 19, 2015 — At the request of a state physicians group, Idaho lawmakers on Tuesday changed language in a proposed antiabortion-rights bill involving medication abortion regulations, Boise State Public Radio reports (Robinson, Boise State Public Radio, 2/17).
The antiabortion-rights group Idaho Chooses Life proposed the original legislation (H 88). Under the bill, providers would have to conduct a physical exam before administering medication abortion drugs, be capable of providing surgical intervention and attempt to schedule a follow-up appointment, among other requirements.
Further, the measure would allow a patient, her spouse or, if the patient is deceased, her parents to seek damages against the provider for alleged violations of the legislation. In addition, county prosecutors could call for an injunction against the provider (Women's Health Policy Report, 2/9).
According to BSPR, the revisions alter the requirement that providers ensure that patients seek follow-up care (Boise State Public Radio, 2/17).
Specifically, the revised bill (HB 154) eliminates language that would have required medication abortion providers to make "all" efforts necessary to ensure follow-up care and added a stipulation that providers make "reasonable efforts" to schedule such appointments. In addition, the revised measure clarifies that follow-up visits can occur with a different provider at the same practice (Brown, Twin Falls Times-News, 2/18).
The revised bill was introduced on Tuesday in the Idaho House State Affairs Committee.
IMA Requests Changes
Idaho Medical Association lobbyist Ken McClure said the bill as originally drafted "required physicians to do things which they may not be able to do clinically."
McClure added that while IMA supports the changes, it does not take a position on the underlying legislation (Russell, "Eye On Boise," Spokane Spokesman-Review, 2/17).