State Indya Rennie Mar 9, 2018 | 12:29PM Helena, MT
A Montana lawsuit demonstrates that the abortion industry is more concerned about expanding abortion than protecting women.
On March 8, Helen Weems petitioned a Montana district court to suspend a state law that only allows physicians and physician assistants to perform abortions, Montana Public Radio reports. Although Weems’ clinic performs abortions, it would be a felony for her to conduct the procedure, because she is a nurse.
The oral arguments for this case took place at the courthouse in the Lewis and Clark County District, according to Kpax.
The ACLU, which is representing Weems, argued that the current law is unconstitutional based on a 1990s Montana Supreme Court ruling. That decision resulted in physician assistants being permitted to perform abortions.
The ACLU Montana chapter’s legal director, Alex Rate, said the law unconstitutionally limits a woman’s access to their choice of qualified medical care providers
“We can all agree that we live in a relatively rural state, our client Helen Weems is working in a practice, All Families Healthcare up in the Flathead. And she should be able to safely perform these procedures and services to those folks who would otherwise need to travel to Spokane or Missoula to get abortion care,” Rate said, according to Montana Public Radio.
Hillary Schneller, attorney for The Center for Reproductive Rights, argued that the law delays “time-sensitive health care.” She said Weems’ patients needed to reschedule their abortion appointments because the physician assistant was not present.
They requested a permanent injunction to allow Weems to perform abortions until the lawsuit is completed. District Judge Mike Menahan did not yet decide whether to grant this request.
The State of Montana questioned the plaintiffs’ arguments.
Attorney General Robert Cameron responded to Schneller by saying: “The only practical impact is that [Weems’] clinic can provide [abortions] in Whitefish four days a week instead of two days a week. That falls miles short from the irreparable harm necessary to justify overlooking the merits of the case.”
Right To Life Montana Director Gregg Trude also planned to become involved. He stated on MTPR: “They claim to be concerned about the health of the women. But they’re really not concerned about the health of women, they just want to expand abortion.”
Indeed, there are studies that demonstrate that risks to women increase when non-professionals perform abortions.
While the International Journal of Women’s Health published a study that denied this claim in 2013, conclusions from such studies can be severely biased. California passed a law allowing non-doctors to perform abortions based on research conducted in 2013. But as LifeNews reported, “the study actually found that abortions done by non-physicians were twice as likely to have complications as those done by licensed physicians. Nevertheless, the study’s authors concluded that ‘the difference between the 2 groups of providers is not clinically significant.’”
Nevertheless, lawsuits to expand abortion access continue to surface. Maine also is embroiled in a lawsuit challenging its law that only allows doctors to perform abortions.
With abortion clinics closing and the number of abortion doctors dropping in the United States, abortion activists are fighting frantically to expand access to abortions. And they are doing so at the expense of women’s safety.
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