Women seeking medication abortion from Planned Parenthood of Montana will now be required to show proof of residency in a bid to prevent the sale of pills to women from states where abortions are banned.
The decision, relayed to staff in an email that was revealed by Montana freelance reporter Hunter Pauli, comes in the wake of the Supreme Court striking down Roe v. Wade and appears to be an attempt to shield the organization from lawsuits or criminal charges. Eligibility for surgical abortions will remain unchanged.
“The risks around cross-state provision of services are currently less than clear, with the potential for both civil and criminal action for providing abortions in states with bans,” Planned Parenthood Montana President Martha Fuller told staff in an email.
That means patients from South Dakota, Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma, where abortion is now banned, will be unable to receive abortion via medication unless they can prove Montana residency.
“Let’s be clear: Planned Parenthood of Montana will continue to serve patients from out of state who are seeking abortion,” Ms. Fuller added in a statement to The Daily Beast.
In nearby Washington state, Gov. Jay Inslee has declared his state a “sanctuary” for abortions and will refuse to provide abortion-related patient information being sought by out-of-state agencies to protect the identity of women traveling for the procedure.