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After the Supreme Court ruling on Mifepristone, What is the impact on Idaho?

Posted at 8:04 PM, Jun 14, 2024

BOISE, Idaho — On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to preserve American's right to access the abortion pill Mifepristone. Even though it is still accessible, what does that mean for Idahoans?

Law professor Linda Jellum from the University of Idaho says the law doesn't change much and that the ruling was more about the plaintiffs in the case than the drug itself.

"It's almost irrelevant, and here's why. The case is all about standing so its a very academic issue, whether the right person is bringing this case to court,"
Linda Jellum

Since the drug is legal to obtain, does it mean Idahoans can take it to terminate a pregnancy? Not exactly as Senior Attorney Penelope Gaffney explains.

“You could read the law in such a way that by the act of taking the pill she is engaging in the application or commission of an abortion and therefore it would be a criminal activity,”

Looking deeper in to Idaho's abortion laws, Gaffney says the law focuses mainly on the physician side of performing an abortion and that woman could be protected under the same law if they took Mifepristone.

“The last part of the statute says that any pregnant woman who has received an abortion or on human abortion has been attempted to be performed is not going to be criminally culpable in any way,”

Even though both sides can be argued in favor and against a woman taking mifepriston, Gaffney says she cannot promise a woman would be safe under Idaho Law if took they took the abortion drug.

“The last part of the statute says that any pregnant woman who has received an abortion or on human abortion has been attempted to be performed is not going to be criminally culpable in any way,”
Penelope Gaffney