Women, doctors announce legal action against abortion bans in 3 states

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(NEW YORK) — Women in Idaho, Oklahoma and Tennessee filed legal actions against their states over abortion bans, saying they were denied abortions despite having dangerous pregnancy complications.

Four women in Idaho — Jennifer Adkins, Jillaine St. Michel, Kayla Smith and Rebecca Vincen-Brown — and abortion providers filed a suit against the state, Gov. Brad Little, attorney general and the state’s board of medicine, claiming the state’s ban has “sown confusion, fear and chaos among the medical community, resulting in grave harms to pregnant patients whose health and safety hang in the balance across the state,” according to a copy of the lawsuit shared with ABC News.

Three women in Tennessee — Nicole Blackmon, Allyson Phillips and Kaitlyn Dulon — and abortion providers filed a suit against the state, attorney general and the state board of medical examiners, claiming they and others were denied “necessary and potentially life-saving medical care” because physicians “fear the penalties imposed by that ban,” according to the lawsuit.

Jaci Statton filed an administrative complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services against a hospital in Oklahoma, claiming she was not provided with an abortion that was a “necessary stabilizing treatment” for her partial molar pregnancy.

The new lawsuits come months after five women — represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights — announced a lawsuit in Texas challenging the state’s abortion bans, saying the law puts their lives in danger. More women later joined the suit, bringing the total number of plaintiffs to 15.

“Today’s legal actions seek to ensure that pregnant people with severe pregnancy complications can access abortion care in their home state, and that doctors are given clarity on what situations qualify under the ‘medical emergency’ exceptions in their state’s abortion bans,” the Center for Reproductive Rights announced in a statement Tuesday.

“Doctors who violate the bans risk years in prison, hefty fines, and loss of licensure, and have thus been fearful to provide abortion care in many life-threatening circumstances,” the CRR said.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.


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