Earlier this year, an anti-abortion measure supported by Idaho Statehouse Republicans garnered national media attention when, during a hearing on the bill before the Idaho House State Affairs Committee, Dalton Gardens Rep. Vito Barbieri infamously asked a health care professional
if a gynecological exam could be conducted by a woman swallowing a small camera.
Despite the immediate national ridicule, Barbieri and his GOP colleagues were successful in pushing through House Bill 154
, which requires an Idaho physician to conduct an in-person exam and counseling to any pregnant woman before she's allowed to access the chemical abortion drug RU-486, thus placing greater restrictions on abortions. The bill was promptly signed into law by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter.
Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest this morning filed suit against Idaho, saying HB 154
illegally restricts access to safe and legal abortion in Idaho.
“Women in Idaho deserve the right to have access to the safest, highest quality health care—these misguided laws do just the opposite by creating unnecessary hurdles to safe and legal abortion that are not grounded in science, but instead rooted in politics,” said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Greater Northwest and Hawaiian Islands.
Planned Parenthood Idaho Legislative Director and Public Affairs Manager Hannah Brass-Greer said the suit had been filed at the U.S. District Courthouse in Boise and PPGNHI would be represented by Boise law firm Jones Gledhill Fuhrman Gourley, in addition to Planned Parenthood legal counsel.
“There is no medical justification for carving out this one exclusion for prescribing medicine to patients in Idaho. The Constitution does not allow the Legislature to pass laws that burden women’s access to abortion when those laws do not advance the health and safety of women,” said Greer.