Richmond, Va., May 8, 2019 / 14:58 pm
A federal judge in Richmond, Virginia has ruled against state medical regulations requiring first-trimester abortions be performed only by physicians.
"After a careful review of the experts' opinions from both sides, a consensus appears to have evolved that first trimester abortions, which typically require only medication, do not require the onsite presence of a licensed physician and is consequently unduly burdensome," wrote U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson on May 6.
Nearly a dozen lawsuits filed in states across the U.S. are seeking to allow medical professionals other than doctors - such as nurse practitioners, midwives and physician assistants - to perform abortions.
Planned Parenthood affiliates and abortion rights lobbying groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have filed 11 lawsuits across the United States since 2016, beginning after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down health and safety regulations on abortion providers in Texas.