The regional branch of Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Idaho are suing the state of Idaho over a new law that requires medicals providers to report complications resulting from abortion procedures.
The lawsuit claims the Idaho Abortion Complications Reporting Act is vaguely written, violates the constitution and does nothing to improve patient care.
“When you have a law that subjects a provider to civil and criminal penalties or to having their medical license taken away, it’s got to be sufficiently clear,” says Hannah Greer, Chief Legal Council for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. “Everyone we’ve spoken to says, ‘I have no idea how to properly comply with this.’”
The law lists 37 conditions that must be reported, including some the lawsuit says are not medically-related at all, like a requirement to report if the patient does not schedule a follow up appointment.
The law also requires providers to report patients’ personal information, like age, race, county of residence and number of previous abortions.
“There’s a privacy issue here,” says Greer. “In rural parts of Idaho where we have these very small towns, if you report a certain amount of information about individual—even if their name is not there—it will be clear to that community who this report is about.”
According to a spokesperson, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare does not track complications from any procedures other than abortion.
A spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office declined to comment.
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