Idaho Becomes 16th State to Ban Abortions After Supreme Court Overturns Roe

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 13, 2022   |   9:03AM   |  

Idaho has become the 16th state with an abortion ban in effect following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Late Friday, the Idaho Supreme Court allowed the state’s heartbeat law to be enforced that protects the lives of unborn babies when they have a detectable heartbeat at 6 weeks. In a 3 to 2 decision the court upheld the civil enforcement mechanism contained in the Idaho Heartbeat Law.  They further stated that Planned Parenthood is unlikely to succeed in its efforts to challenge the civil enforcement mechanism or the criminal penalties of the Heartbeat Law.

The state’s highest court also rejected Planned Parenthood’s bid to block the state’s trigger law from going into effect on August 25th, which would protect babies starting at conception.

As a result of the decision, the civil enforcement mechanism of the Heartbeat Law is in effect now and the more protective abortion ban will begin protecting babies in approximately two weeks.

Justice Robyn Brody, writing for the court, said given the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision, the Planned Parenthood abortion business was not entitled to the “drastic” relief it sought, noting that abortion was illegal in Idaho before the Roe decision.

“Moreover, what Petitioners are asking this Court to ultimately do is to declare a right to abortion under the Idaho Constitution when – on its face – there is none,” Brody added.

The Idaho court did not decide on the merits of Planned Parenthood’s challenge to the ban and instead said it would hear arguments on September 29th, so there is a potential the ban could still be overturned, albeit unlikely.

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Jason Herring, President of Right to Life of Idaho, applauded the decision in an email to LifeNews.

“This means that abortionists in Idaho can now he held civilly liable for most abortions they perform after an unborn baby’s heartbeat can be detected,” he said. “In addition, the criminal penalties of the Heartbeat Law will be go into effect next Friday, August 19.”

Herring also confirmed that women experiencing an ectopic pregnancy or other life-threatening condition or miscarriage will not be charged under the Idaho law and can received proper treatment for any such medical issue.

Joe Biden has filed a legal challenge to the ban , falsely claiming it puts women’s lives at risk and falsely arguing that it would prevent medically necessary abortions.

Despite false reports that abortion bans would prevent doctors from treating pregnant women for miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies, pro-life doctors confirm that is not the case. Some 35 states have laws making it clear that miscarriage is not abortion and every state with an abortion ban allows treatment for both.

The federal government brought the suit seeking to invalidate the state’s “criminal prohibition on providing abortions as applied to women suffering medical emergencies,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said. It’s the first lawsuit the Biden administration has brought in response to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

But the claim is false, just as it was when the Biden administration recently attacked the Texas abortion ban on the same rationale.

Idaho’s abortion ban permits a physician who does an abortion to raise the affirmative defense that the abortion was necessary to save the mother’s life or that the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest that was reported. In both cases, the physician must choose a procedure that is most likely to save the life of the baby and protect the mother. The law explicitly excludes contraception from the definition of abortion, and women upon whom abortions are performed may not be prosecuted.

In Texas, Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit challenging a new Biden administration action that threatens hospitals with loss of Medicaid funds if their emergency rooms refuse to abort unborn babies.

Texas and a dozen other states protect unborn babies by banning abortions in all or almost all cases. However, every state law allows exceptions for the rare cases when a mother’s life is at risk.

The Biden administration’s new guidance to hospitals on Monday appears to be just a reminder that emergency rooms must do abortions when mothers’ lives are at risk.

But pro-life leaders said the directive does more than that.

“While the federal directive claims to focus only on life-threatening circumstances, language in the administration’s new guidance would actually broaden abortions when the mother’s life is not in danger,” Texas Right to Life responded this week in an email.

The pro-life organization said the Biden administration is using the directive to allow unborn babies to be unnecessarily killed in abortions in pro-life states. And if hospitals refuse to comply, their participation in Medicare/Medicaid could be in jeopardy.

“Joe Biden is trying to weaponize our communities’ life-saving doctors and hospitals to push his abortion agenda,” said Texas Right to Life senior legislative associate Rebecca Parma. “We look forward to once again beating the Biden administration in court and saving lives.”

Following the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin have abortion bans currently in place while Idaho, Georgia, Ohio, South Carolina and Tennessee have heartbeat laws in place protecting babies from abortions starting at 6 weeks.

As LifeNews reported, the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, with a 6-3 majority ruling in the Dobbs case that “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion” — allowing states to ban abortions and protect unborn babies. The high court also ruled 6-3 uphold the Mississippi 15-week abortion ban so states can further limit abortions and to get rid of the false viability standard.

Chief Justice John Roberts technically voted for the judgment but, in his concurring opinion, disagreed with the reasoning and said he wanted to keep abortions legal but with a new standard.

Texas and Oklahoma had banned abortions before Roe was overturned and Missouri became the first state after Roe to protect babies from abortions and South Dakota became the 2nd. Then Arkansas became the third state protecting babies from abortions and Kentucky became the 4th and Louisiana became the 5th and Ohio became the 6th and Utah became the 7th and Oklahoma became the 8th and Alabama became the 9th. This week, Mississippi became the 10th and South Carolina became the 11th,Texas became the 12th with its pre-Roe law and Tennessee became the 13th.

Michigan, Wisconsin and West Virginia have old pro-life laws on the books but there is question about whether they are applicable and will be enforced.

Ultimately, as many as 26 states could immediately or quickly ban abortions and protect babies from certain death for the first time in nearly 50 years.

The 13 total states with trigger laws that would effectively ban all or most abortions are: Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

“Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives,” Alito wrote.

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start. Its reasoning was exceptionally weak, and the decision has had damaging consequences,” Alito wrote. “And far from bringing about a national settlement of the abortion issue, Roe and Casey have enflamed debate and deepened division.”

Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer authored a joint dissent condemning the decision as enabling states to enact “draconian” restrictions on women.

Polls show Americans are pro-life on abortion and a new national poll shows 75% of Americans essentially agree with the Supreme Court overturning Roe.

Despite false reports that abortion bans would prevent doctors from treating pregnant women for miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies, pro-life doctors confirm that is not the case. Some 35 states have laws making it clear that miscarriage is not abortion and every state with an abortion ban allows treatment for both.