Idaho Capitol 5-21-19

The Idaho state Capitol, shown on Tuesday, May 21, 2019.

One of America's leading medical organizations has filed a lawsuit to block a North Dakota abortion law requiring doctors to tell women that a medication-induced abortion can be "reversed," an assertion medical experts say is scientifically unsound, the Washington Post reports today. Idaho has a similar law; it passed in 2018 on straight party-line votes in both the House and Senate, with all Republicans voting “yes” and all Democrats voting “no,” and was signed into law by then-Gov. Butch Otter.

The American Medical Association joined the Red River Women's Clinic, the last abortion facility in North Dakota, and its medical director, Kathryn Eggleston, to argue that the law violates doctors' constitutional right to free speech by forcing them to lie to patients, the Post reported. The plaintiffs also contest an existing provision in North Dakota law that requires a doctor to tell a woman that the abortion will "terminate the life of a whole, separate, unique, living human being," a statement they argue is ideologically biased and "forces physicians to act as the mouthpiece of the state."

The AMA partnered with the Center for Reproductive Rights to file the lawsuit.

AMA President Patrice Harris told The Washington Post that "we will oppose any law or regulation that restricts our ability to talk to our patients honestly about their health, health care or treatment alternatives." The Post’s full story is online here.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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