Abortion Bill Fails in Idaho, But Many Women Still Cross State Lines to Seek Abortions

Abortion rights advocates applauded the recent federal ruling that the Idaho 20-week abortion ban is unconstitutional. Anti-choice state lawmakers, on the other hand, took the announcement as a chance to do some last-minute bill drafting in an attempt to quietly pass a new abortion ban and regulate how medication is provided in medication abortions.

The Associated Press reports that an attempt to pass new abortion restrictions in response to the Ninth Circuit ruling stalled out in the state senate when lawmakers ran out of time on the legislative calendar. The new regulations “would have deleted sections of the existing law but also added new requirements physicians must meet before administering drugs that terminate pregnancies,” according to the AP.

Jennie Linn McCormack’s case highlighted the lengths that women will go to in order to end a pregnancy when access to safe abortion is cut off. It’s a situation many Idaho women have faced and will continue to face, as significant numbers of women seeking abortion services find the nearest provider across state lines.

The state’s department of health has released new numbers showing that many Idaho women seeking abortions are leaving the state to receive them. According to the Idaho Statesman, 40 percent of Idaho women end up going to different states to access abortions. “When women need it, they find it difficult to access,” Kristen Glundberg-Prossor, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, told the Statesman. Over 70 percent of those who leave Idaho for abortion care go to Washington, the paper says, rather than one of the two providers in the state.

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