Mazurek v. Armstrong

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In Mazurek v. Armstrong, 520 U.S. 968 (1997), the U.S. Supreme Court held that it is constitutional to prohibit non-physicians from doing abortions. This per curium decision was based on logic, and did not find it appropriate to consider whether other medical professionals could an abortion as safely as a physician, or how much prices for abortions may increase due to the physician-only rule. Very few doctors perform abortions in Montana, and one physician assistant did as well. In 1995, the legislature passed a law requiring that only doctors perform abortions, and the plaintiff sought to enjoin enforcement of the law. The district court claimed there was not a sufficient record to decide the Constitutional issue, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed and an injunction issued allowing the physician assistant to continue until the case could be heard by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court vacated the injunction and remanded the case to the district court to gather facts on whether the law would be a substantial burden on obtaining an abortion.