Idaho abortion ban temporarily stalled weeks before it goes into effect

Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

(BOISE, Idaho) — The Idaho Supreme Court has temporarily blocked a new law that bans nearly all abortions in the state while a legal challenge plays out in court.

The court suspended implementation of the bill, which is set to take effect April 22, in a ruling on Friday, more than a week after Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit seeking to strike down the restrictive childcare law. abortion.

The state has until April 28 to respond to the court.

The law prohibits abortions once heart activity in a fetus is detected, which occurs at around six weeks of pregnancy. Many women do not know at six weeks that they are pregnant.

The lawsuit was filed March 30 in the Idaho Supreme Court on behalf of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky and Dr. Caitlin Gustafson, a health care provider who performs abortions in Planned Parenthood clinics, according to court documents. .

The bill was signed by Gov. Brad Little on March 23, making Idaho the first state to model legislation after Texas’ abortion ban.

“It should be clear to everyone that the Idaho State Legislature intentionally abandoned the ordinary rule of law when it passed this six-week abortion ban. Then the governor joined in their efforts to strip his constituents of their constitutional rights when he signed the abortion ban into law – despite his own acknowledgment that it was wrong,” Alexis McGill said. Johnson, president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a press release. press release announcing the legal challenge.

According to Planned Parenting.

The “enforcement mechanism and substance of the law are blatantly unconstitutional, so much so that the Idaho Attorney General’s Office issued an advisory to that effect, and the Governor highlighted similar concerns during the signing” , says the lawsuit.

In a letter to Janice McGeachin, Lieutenant Governor and President of the State Senate, Little criticized the bill, saying, “I stand in solidarity with all Idahoans who seek to protect the lives of babies in be born.”

He then added: ‘While I support the pro-life policy in this legislation, I fear the new civil enforcement mechanism will quickly be proven both unconstitutional and reckless.’

In its lawsuit, Planned Parenthood asked the court to rule that the bill is “unlawful and unenforceable” and to bar Idaho courts from carrying out civil cases as permitted by the bill.

Without the court’s intervention, the law would go into effect, “wreaking havoc on the constitutional standards of this state and the lives of its citizens,” according to the lawsuit.

“The abortion ban flagrantly undermines patients’ right to privacy. It also improperly and unlawfully delegates law enforcement to private citizens, violating the separation of powers and allowing plaintiffs without prejudice to sue, in violation of the Idaho Constitution,” said Planned Parenthood. .

Rebecca Gibron, Acting CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, added, “This law is a cruel overreach by politicians so determined to control the lives of their constituents that they are willing to compromise our constitutional rights and compromise our health and safety, all for the purpose of banning abortion.

The lawsuit calls for emergency aid by April 21 to prevent the implementation of the abortion ban before it becomes law.

“Unless this abortion ban is stopped, the people of Idaho will see in real time their government stripping them of the very rights they are sworn to protect. Everyone deserves to make their own decisions about their body, family and life – and we will continue to fight to make that a reality,” said McGill Johnson.

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