Judge blocks law limiting Medicaid payments for abortion

A superior court judge has blocked a law restricting Medicaid payments for abortion from going into effect.

In an injunction issued on Tuesday, Judge John Suddock wrote that there are “serious questions of constitutional validity” of a new state law that puts limits on what qualifies as a “medically necessary” abortion. The state was supposed to start enforcing the law on Wednesday.

The law passed after similar regulations were put on hold by the same judge. The legislation was advanced by mostly Republicans, and went farther than the Department of Health and Social Services regulations by defining the term “medically necessary” to include only physical conditions.

Both the law and the regulations are the subject of a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest.