Governor of Idaho signs an abortion ban that is modeled after Texas law

On Wednesday, Idaho became the first state in the country to adopt a law that was based on a Texas law banning abortions after six weeks. It can also be enforced by lawsuits to avoid constitutional court challenges.

Governor of Idaho signs an abortion ban that is modeled after Texas law

Republican Governor. Brad Little signed the law that allows family members to sue doctors who perform abortions after cardiac activity has been detected in an embryo. He expressed concern about the constitutionality of the law.

Little wrote to Lt. Governor, "I stand in solidarity alongside all Idahoans who seek the protection of the lives preborn babies," Janice McGeachin is the president of Senate.

He also stated that he supported the pro-life policy of this legislation but feared that the novel civil enforcement mechanism would be found unconstitutional as well as unwise.

The conservative law is expected to go into effect 30 days after signing. However, court challenges are possible. Opponents claim it is unconstitutional and point out that many women don't know they are pregnant until six weeks.

Advanced technology can detect the first fluttering of electric activity in embryo cells as early as six weeks. This is not a beating heart, but it's actually cardiac activity that will eventually turn into a heart. After the eighth week of pregnancy, an embryo is called a fetus. The actual heart forms between the ninth and twelveth weeks.

The law allows the "preborn child's father, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and nieces to sue the abortion provider for at least $20,000 in damages within four year after the abortion. The law prohibits rapists from filing a lawsuit, but relatives of rapists could.

Lauren Necochea, Idaho Democratic Representative, stated that "the vigilante aspect" of the bill was absurd. Its effects are severe and it is clearly unconstitutional.

Planned Parenthood officials called the law unconstitutional, and stated that they were "committed" to exploring all options and going to every length to restore Idahoans' rights to abortion.

"I want everyone to know that we are still open to all Idahoans," said Gibron. "We remain committed to helping patients access the healthcare they need," Rebecca Gibron, Planned Parenthood Great Northwest (Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky) said. She also manages Idaho's three abortion clinics.

According to supporters, the law represents Idaho's best chance to restrict abortions after years of trying. The state passed a six-week ban on abortion last year. However, it needed a favorable Federal Court ruling in a similar case for the law to be effective.

The law was modeled on a Texas law, which the U.S. Supreme Court allowed to stay in place until a challenge is made. Texas law permits people to enforce the law instead of state officials. Texas law allows for lawsuits against doctors, clinics and anyone else who "aids in or facilitates" abortions that are not allowed by law.

Many other states are considering similar laws, including Tennessee which introduced an abortion bill that was Texas-style last week.

Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, stated that the Biden administration knew Texas' law would result in similar laws being passed by other states. She called on Congress for a bill to "shutdown these radical steps"

Psaki stated Wednesday that the development was devastating for Idaho's women, and will further hinder women's access health care, particularly for those with low incomes or who live in rural areas.

Idaho Republicans have supermajorities in the Senate and House. The Senate passed the measure 28-6, and the House 51-14. There was no Democratic support. The measure was opposed by three House Republicans.

Little expressed concern about the legislation Wednesday.

He wrote that "Delegating private citizens to levy heavy monetary fines for the exercise of disfavored but judicially acknowledged constitutional right for purposes of evading judicial review undermines our constitution form of government"

He expressed concern that other states may use the same approach in order to limit gun rights.

He expressed concern about the law that allows a rapist's family to sue.

He wrote that "Ultimately, this legislation risked retraumatizing victims because it afforded monetary incentives to wrongdoers as well as family members of rapists."

The letter was concluded by Mr. Smith encouraging legislators to address those issues to avoid unintended consequences and "to ensure that the state adequately protects the rights of victims of sexual abuse."

A primary challenge to Little comes from the far-right in McGeachin (the lieutenant governor), who was endorsed by the former President Donald Trump.

Republican Rep. Steven Harris was the bill's sponsor. He said, in a statement, that the bill "ensures that the people in Idaho can stand up to our values and do all in our power for the prevention of the wanton destruction innocent human life."


 

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