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Idaho Gov. Signs Telemedicine Abortion Ban

Idaho Gov. Signs Telemedicine Abortion Ban

April 7, 2015 — Idaho Gov. C.L. Otter (R) on Monday signed a bill (HB 154) into law that will require physicians to be physically present when administering medication abortion drugs, AP/KTVB reports (AP/KTVB, 4/6).

None of the state's three clinics that offer abortion services use telemedicine for medication abortions.

Law Details

Under the law, providers will have to conduct a physical exam before administering medication abortion drugs, be capable of providing surgical intervention and make "reasonable efforts" to schedule a follow-up appointment, among other requirements. The law permits patients to conduct follow-up visits with a different provider at the same location.

Further, the measure allows a patient, her spouse or, if the patient is deceased, her parents to seek damages against the provider for alleged violations of the law. In addition, county prosecutors can request an injunction against the provider.

The measure was revised during Senate debate at the request of the Idaho Medical Association to correct language that would have "effectively outlawed treatment" for ectopic pregnancies (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/25).