AAPA, APAOG Join Nursing Organizations in Opposing PA Practice Restrictions in Montana

Groups file amicus brief in a case before the Montana Supreme Court

February 14, 2024


AAPA recently joined the Association of Physician Associates in Obstetrics and Gynecology (APAOG), the Association of Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health (NPWH), and the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) in an amicus brief in a case before the Montana Supreme Court.

The case, Planned Parenthood et al v. State of Montana et al, challenges the state restrictions for abortion care in Montana that were imposed in 2023.  In Montana, Medicaid is required to cover “medically necessary” care, including abortion. The Medicaid rules, if implemented, would prohibit Medicaid reimbursement for abortions performed by anyone other than a physician. It also requires an unnecessary physical examination and requires additional documentation and patient information to be sent to the state for prior authorization.

The brief underscores that PAs have been providing safe and effective healthcare, including the provision of abortion services, for years in Montana. As clinicians first authorized to perform abortions in the state of Montana, PAs are qualified to provide these services and vital to ensuring patient access to reproductive health.

As stated in the brief, “PAs play an integral role in a broad range of clinical settings, including outpatient and in-hospital obstetrics and gynecology care, providing healthcare services ranging from the diagnosis and treatment of acute and chronic gynecological conditions to independently performing critical clinical procedures…”

See the full text of the brief.

The lower court granted a motion for a preliminary injunction in May 2023, and the state has appealed. The state has until March 13, 2024, to respond to and file their brief and the Montana Supreme Court will announce any future proceedings.

What is an amicus brief?

An amici curiae, translated from Latin, means “friend of the court.” Commonly filed during the appeals process of a legal proceeding, amicus briefs are submitted by individuals or organizations who are not party to the case, but who offer, or are invited by the court, to advise on a matter before the court.

There are both state and federal laws that govern the content, timing, and the manner in which an amicus can participate.