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Health and Medicine

Idaho Lawmakers Revise Abortion Bill At Doctors’ Request

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Idaho lawmakers took the advice of doctors Tuesday on changes to a bill that would regulate abortion-inducing medication. Physicians said certain requirements in the original bill would be impossible to fulfill in some cases.

The revision loosens a proposed obligation on doctors to make sure a patient seeks emergency care or comes in for a follow-up. It also would give doctors more clinical latitude than the original bill would have.

Ken McClure, a lobbyist for the Idaho Medical Association, told lawmakers the IMA worked with anti-abortion groups to revise the proposal.

“Don’t misconstrue my testimony," McClure said. "The IMA does not stand here in support of this legislation. It does stand in support of the amendments to the legislation, which we have been graciously given the opportunity to craft with the sponsors."

McClure said the Idaho Medical Association is not taking a position on the bill.

The legislation is a concern for doctors because it would give patients, their families and county prosecutors the right to take physicians to court if they don’t follow the requirements before prescribing drugs like RU-486, which induces abortion.

Doctors say many of the requirements are similar to guidelines physicians already follow. Abortion rights advocates argue doctors should be able to adapt care to the patient and not be dictated to by the state.