AP

NC clinics want nurses to offer medication-induced abortions

Oct 17, 2022, 2:46 PM | Updated: 4:04 pm

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — With both abortions in North Carolina and the number of out-of-state clinic patients soaring after Roe v. Wade was struck down, judges should permit more trained health professionals to prescribe pills for medication-induced abortions, plaintiffs in a lawsuit wrote on Monday.

Abortion providers, medical workers and an abortion-rights group awaiting trial next year in their 2020 lawsuit challenging many state abortion rules asked a three-judge panel to act now and block a law limiting who can provide such medication from just certain licensed physicians.

Allowing physician assistants, nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives who work at certified abortion clinics to prescribe these pills would immediately expand access to abortion in North Carolina, the plaintiffs said. These “advanced practice clinicians” already can prescribe the same two medicines used in medication-induced abortions for managing a patient’s miscarriage, according to a memo describing the legal grounds for a preliminary injunction.

The court should remove “an unnecessary barrier to care so that more North Carolinians can access a full range of reproductive health services, including time-sensitive abortion care, in their own state,” Anne Logan Bass, a nurse practitioner at Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, and a plaintiff, said in a news release.

North Carolina abortion clinic operators have said they’ve seen a marked increase in the number of women coming from other states that now have more severe abortion limitations following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June.

The memo said Planned Parenthood South Atlantic — a leading abortion provider in the state and a plaintiff — performed 1,298 abortions in September, which is a 68% increase compared to September 2021. And in September 66% of abortion patients at its health center in Asheville — a short drive from parts of Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee — were from out-of-state, compared to 31% in September 2021. Overall, 27% of the abortion patients at Planned Parenthood health centers last month came from other states, compared to 11% the same month the year before.

This “has exacerbated the long wait times experienced by North Carolinians seeking abortion — forcing them to remain pregnant against their will for longer periods, potentially pushing them past the gestational age limit for a medication abortion, and more,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys wrote.

North Carolina restricts abortion after 20 weeks, with some exceptions for a medical emergency. Tennessee currently bans almost all abortions. South Carolina and Georgia ban abortions once an ultrasound detects fetal cardiac activity — typically six weeks after fertilization and before many patients know they’re pregnant. South Carolina’s law was enforced briefly in the summer before the state’s Supreme Court suspended its enforcement due to litigation.

Wait times between scheduling medication-abortion appointments at Planned Parenthood’s health centers in Winston-Salem and Asheville and the actual appointment dates also have increased dramatically since July, the memo said. Physician staffing challenges at the six Planned Parenthood health centers in the state that perform abortions mean abortion appointments aren’t always available, the court filing said.

Republican legislative leaders along with other government officials defending these and other abortion laws in the lawsuit will be able to respond to Monday’s motion. A panel of three Superior Court judges is hearing the case because the lawsuit alleges the challenged laws violate the state constitution. The trial is scheduled for September 2023.

The lawsuit also challenges a 72-hour waiting period for a woman to receive an abortion; a ban on virtual appointments to receive a medication-induced abortion; requirements approved in 2011 that certain information be presented to a pregnant woman; and regulations placed upon clinics the plaintiffs say prevent abortion access.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

2 hours ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

7 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

8 days ago

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale, left, listen during...

Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized with bladder issue

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue."

10 days ago

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a...

Associated Press

Woman firing rifle killed by 2 off-duty officers at Houston’s Lakewood Church run by Joel Osteen

A woman entered the Texas megachurch of Joel Osteen and started shooting with a rifle Sunday and was killed by two off-duty officers.

10 days ago

(Pexels photo)...

Associated Press

Baby in Kansas City, Missouri, dies after her mother mistakenly put her in an oven

An infant in Missouri died when her mother mistakenly put her down for a nap in an oven, a prosecutor said Saturday.

11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

FanDuel

The 2023 Diamondbacks are a good example to count on the underdog

The Arizona Diamondbacks made the World Series as a surprise. That they made the playoffs at all, got past the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Wild Card round, swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS and won two road games in Philadelphia to close out a full seven-game NLCS went against every expectation. Now, […]

NC clinics want nurses to offer medication-induced abortions