Published On: Thu, Apr 12th, 2018

Montana: Judge rules to allow midwife and nurse to perform abortions as ACLU sues over requirement for a doctor

A judge in Montana has granted a midwife and a nurse permission to commit abortions while a lawsuit preventing non-doctors from practicing abortion is litigated.

Caitlin Borgmann, the Executive Director of the ACLU of Montana, spoke out against the physician requirement, saying that preventing non-doctors from committing abortions “places unnecessary, unfounded, and arbitrary barriers to Montanans’ access to abortion care.”

20 week baby photo/ screenshot of YouTube video

The Montana Abortion Control Act currently mandates that only licensed doctors commit abortions.

That law “perpetuates ongoing irreparable harm to the Plaintiffs and their patients,” District Judge Mike Menahan wrote. His ruling only allows the two non-doctors fighting the law, APRN Helen Weems and certified nurse midwife “Jane Doe,” to be exempt from it at this time.

The ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights are challenging the law, arguing that midwives and advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) should be allowed to commit abortions.

Menahan acknowledged in his ruling Weems isn’t even fully trained on how to commit abortions but “expects to be competent to provide abortion services (medication and aspiration abortion) within a matter of weeks or months, respectively.”

“The State has not met its burden of showing a compelling state interest in restricting Montana women’s fundamental right to privacy,” Menahan wrote.

The topic has become heated since the shocking “House of Horrors” case in Philadelphia involving abortionist Kermit Gosnell. Gosnell’s exploitation of women resulted in one death of a women and highlighted his execution of babies who survived the process.

In 2013, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill allowing midwives, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants to commit first-trimester abortions.


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