In December 2015, Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against the state of Idaho, claiming two restrictions against women seeking abortifacients via telemedicine are unconstitutional. A U.S. District judge ruled in favor of the pro-abortion organization earlier this month.
Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and Hawaiian Islands, said at the time of the lawsuit, "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 [are] rooted in politics."
When women take abortion pills, they typically abort the child in the home, oftentimes delivering the child in the toilet. The women then flush him down the toilet and have bleeding for the following nine to 16 days.
The first victory in the lawsuit overturned House Bill 154, which requires a doctor to be present when administering abortion pills. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 19 states require that abortion-inducing medication be given in person.
The second victory overturned the Idaho Telehealth Access Act, which states, "No drug may be prescribed through telehealth services for the purpose of causing an abortion."
Hannah Brass Greer, Idaho Legislative Director and Public Affairs Manager, said, "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."
Making abortion available via telemedicine is expected to greatly expand abortion across the mostly rural state. According to a study, "There are no clinics that provide abortion services in 95 percent of counties across Idaho — where 70 percent of Idaho women live."
In his decision, U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill wrote, "Based on the stipulated facts, and the entire record herein, the Court hereby finds that the challenged laws ... provide few, if any, health benefits for women."
In 2015, Planned Parenthood won a similar lawsuit in Iowa, which expanded the use of telemedicine.
Life issues have been front and center in the United States in 2017, with some estimates claiming the March for Life 2017 was the largest ever. The Idaho lawsuit comes the same week President Donald Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, banning U.S funding of foreign abortions.