Idaho Supreme Court Blocks Abortion Ban

Apr 11, 2022

The Idaho Supreme Court has temporarily blocked enforcement of a new state law that would ban abortions after fetal heart activity is detected, usually after six weeks of pregnancy.

Gov. Brad Little signed the legislation in late March. It was scheduled to go into effect on April 22, but Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit in the opposition.

Acting on Friday, the court said it must review legal objections to the law, The Associated Press reported. Both parties will be asked to submit a report.

Idaho’s bill is modeled after a new Texas abortion law that uses the six-week test. Texas law also allows individuals to enforce the law by suing health professionals who perform abortions.

Idaho law says the father, grandparents, siblings or other relatives of the fetus can sue, according to the Associated Press. Lawsuits can be filed up to four years after an abortion.

When he signed the bill, the governor expressed concerns about enforcement.

“While I support the pro-life policies in this legislation, I fear the new civilian enforcement mechanism will be proven both unconstitutional and unwise in the near term,” Little wrote in a message to Lieutenant Governor Janice McGeachin, who also chairs the State Senate. .

Planned Parenthood praised the Idaho Supreme Court decision.

“We’re excited that abortion will remain accessible in the state for now, but our fight to ensure Idahoans have full access to their constitutionally protected rights is far from over,” Rebecca Gibron, interim director of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii , Alaska , Indiana, Kentucky, said in a statement, according to The New York Times. “Abortion lawmakers have made it clear that they will stop at nothing to control our lives, bodies and futures.”

It’s not clear how long the state Supreme Court will spend reviewing the new law.

The Idaho and Texas laws are part of a broad effort to thwart the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which prevents states from banning abortions before a fetus is viable outside the womb around 23 weeks of gestation.

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