Ban on Abortion in Idaho Temporarily Halted

Idaho’s Supreme Court suspended the implementation of a bill prohibiting abortions after six weeks, pending further evaluation.

Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice G. Richard Bevan granted a temporary restraining order against Idaho Senate Bill 1309 in response to a legal challenge brought by Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, and Kentucky.

Idaho Governor Brad Little signed the bill into law in March, and it was scheduled to take effect on April 22.

Statements and Details

Per the Idaho Statesman, Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit last week opposing the law, requesting the case be heard expeditiously because the statute would have gone into effect in weeks.

However, attorneys for the state of Idaho filed a motion on Friday seeking additional time to prepare their legal brief.

Justice Bevan awarded the motion, giving the state until April 28 to file a response to Planned Parenthood’s challenge.

Planned Parenthood then has 14 days to respond. Both parties requested the court retain the status quo—Idaho’s present abortion regulations—to brief the case thoroughly.

The judge agreed to allow it and thereby delayed the statute awaiting the outcome of the litigation.

“Patients throughout Idaho may take a deep breath tonight,” Rebecca Gibron, acting CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, and Kentucky, said following the decision.

While they are relieved abortion will stay legal in the state, for the time being, their effort to ensure Idahoans can exercise their constitutionally protected rights entirely is far from over.

Anti-abortion legislators have made it evident they will stop at nothing to maintain control over people’s lives, bodies, and futures.

Planned Parenthood will continue to battle to ensure that every individual, regardless of color, zip code, or economic background, has access to essential health care. They eagerly await their day in court.

Little’s attorney’s office declined to comment. 

Fetal Heartbeat Preborn Child Protection Act

SB 1309, dubbed the “Fetal Heartbeat, Preborn Child Protection Act,” was decisively passed by the Idaho State legislature in March, according to The Daily Wire.

The law passed the state Senate by a vote of 28-6 and the state House of Representatives by 51-14.

The legislation was modeled after Texas’ abortion law, which was passed last May.

Rather than the state enforcing the legislation, the law empowers private people to sue abortion providers for breaching it. Tennessee has introduced a similar direction.

Gov. Brad Little of Idaho signed it in late March, but voiced reservations.

Little commented the following in a statement to Lieutenant Governor and state Senate President Janice McGeachin:

“I stand in unity with all Idahoans who advocate for the protection of unborn children’s life. I signed the Fetal Heartbeat Preborn Child Protection Act into law last year, the same act that this legislation seeks to modify.” 

“While I support the legislation’s pro-life stance, I am concerned the unique civil enforcement mechanism will quickly be found to be unlawful and ineffective.”