Idaho Passes Law Banning Six-Week Abortions

In a vote held on Monday, the Idaho House of Representatives approved a new law that prohibits abortion beyond six weeks of pregnancy.

According to the bill’s language, a recently approved Texas law that allows family members to sue abortion providers after six weeks is considered.

The Bill

Senate Bill 1309, also known as the “Fetal Heartbeat and Preborn Child Protection Act,” was approved by a vote of 51 to 14 on Monday afternoon. The law is now on its way to the desk of Republican Governor Brad Little for signature.

After passing this bill, Idaho became the first state to enact an abortion ban and the controversial Texas law, which drew widespread condemnation from abortion activists.

According to USA Today, the United States Supreme Court upheld the Texas legislation until a court challenge is adjudicated on the merits.

Last Monday, the Texas Supreme Court ruled against abortion providers, giving what many believe to be the deathblow to their legal battles.

Within four years following an abortion operation, a preborn child’s possible father, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and other relatives might sue the abortion practitioner for a minimum of $20,000 in damages.

Although a rapist would not be able to file a case, their relatives would be able to. 

Will There Be a Veto Call?

The bill was passed with overwhelming support from the Republican-led state legislature in Illinois. Republican state Rep. Barbara Ehardt, a co-sponsor of the proposal, also spoke out to lower abortions in her state.

As Ehardt put it, “Abortion is not a constitutionally protected right. In 1973, the Supreme Court did something that should never have been permitted in the first place.”

Though closely fashioned after the Texas bill, two major modifications were included in Idaho. 

The 19th News stated, “the Idaho abortion prohibition does allow for some loopholes in cases of rape or incest.”

However, the bill also “necessitates the pregnant person to have reported their sexual assault or incest to the authorities and present the abortion provider with a police report.”

“Idaho’s ban only authorizes the person getting the abortion or their relatives to file a suit and only permits the provider to be sued,” it added.

Planned Parenthood CEO Jennifer Allen released a statement decrying the bill’s approval. “SB 1309 is a travesty anchored on terrible motives, dubious legality, and no research at all.”

“Governor Little has to do the correct thing, lend his ears to the medical community, and reject this law before it compels patients in Idaho to flee the state for crucial, time-sensitive treatment or remain pregnant against their will,” Allen wrote.

Now all eyes turn to watch if the governor will veto the bill. Regardless of the extremity of the bill, it’s a wake-up call to reduce the abortion rate in the state.