Idaho Bill Would Ban Abortions Like Texas Law That Has Saved Thousands of Babies From Abortion

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 11, 2022   |   4:11PM   |   Boise, Idaho

The life-saving success of the Texas heartbeat law has Idaho leaders hopeful that their state also could save unborn babies from abortion this year.

Idaho already has a law in place that will ban abortions once Roe v. Wade is overturned. The state legislature also passed a heartbeat law in 2021 that prohibits abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, but, because of current court precedent, it is not in effect either.

Until the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, neither of those abortion bans can be in force. Now, just in case the nation’s highest court doesn’t reverse the infamous decision, Idaho lawmakers want to pass a Texas-style bill o ban abortions once a heartbeat is detected and to have a private enforcement mechanism.

New reports show as many as 13,860 babies have been saved from abortions in Texas.

Here’s more:

The legislation introduced on Friday from Blaine Conzatti, president of the anti-abortion organization Idaho Family Policy Center, is modeled on a similar law in Texas that is the most restrictive in the nation. The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed the Texas law to stay in place, and it is expected to remain that way for the foreseeable future as the legal options for Texas clinics have considerably narrowed. The U.S. Supreme Court is also expected to rule later this year year in a case out of Mississippi that could roll back abortion rights nationwide. “Texas has blazed a pathway that we can follow, and needless to say the pro-life community is very excited,” Conzatti told the Senate State Affairs Committee on Friday. “We can save more than a thousand babies a year from the horror of abortion.”

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Shortly after the bill was introduced on a party-line vote, Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates of Idaho issued a statement criticizing the legislation as an “end-run around the constitutional right to abortion.”

Conzatti said they hope the state legislature will act to save unborn babies immediately by amending the state heartbeat law with a private enforcement provision similar to the one in the Texas law.

The unique private enforcement mechanism in the Texas law is the reason why the courts have allowed the law to stay in effect for the past four months, saving thousands of unborn babies’ lives. Though the court battle over the Texas law is not over, pro-lifers in Idaho and other states hope that by passing similar pro-life laws with private enforcement mechanisms that they, too, will save unborn babies from abortion while Roe v. Wade remains.

Since Roe in 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court has prohibited states from banning abortions before an unborn baby is viable. As a result, about 63 million unborn babies have been killed in abortions in the U.S.

Last year, however, the Supreme Court gave pro-life advocates new hope when it refused twice to block enforcement of the Texas law. As a result, Texas is the first state to be allowed to enforce a pre-viability abortion ban in nearly five decades.

In December, the justices also heard a direct challenge to Roe from Mississippi in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. The Supreme Court likely will not publish its ruling on the case until June.

Both cases have renewed hope in the pro-life movement that states will be allowed to protect unborn babies from abortions again soon. Lawmakers in Idaho and many other states already have filed legislation this year to do just that, and more pro-life bills are expected when state legislatures convene again in the new year.