Montana nurses sue state over law mandating physicians perform abortions

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Two Montana nurses filed a lawsuit Tuesday — with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union — to overturn a law that prevents nurses from performing abortions in the state, according to KRTV.

Currently, only physicians and physician assistants are allowed to perform abortions in Montana. One of the nurses who filed the suit, Helen Weems, argues changing the law would improve abortion access.

"Out of our 56 counties, only 7 percent have an abortion provider," said Ms. Weems, according to KRTV. "Some Montanans have to travel more than 150 miles to reach an abortion provider. What this [lawsuit] would do is expand the pool of qualified healthcare providers who can safely provide abortions under Montana law, which improves access."

In 1999, Montana courts struck down a law that barred physician assistants from performing abortions, arguing such a rule limited access to the procedure.

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