BOISE, Idaho — Gov. Brad Little announced Thursday he has signed on to an amicus brief related to a case before the Supreme Court seeking to overrule two abortion-related holdings.
The governors of Idaho, Montana, Texas, Florida, Arizona, Iowa, South Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri and Oklahoma have joined the amicus brief in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.
The case is about a 2018 Mississippi law prohibiting abortions after 15 weeks except in medical emergencies or severe fetal abnormality, according to a news release from the governor's office. Lower courts said the law violated the holdings in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.
In April, Gov. Little signed House Bill 366, the fetal heartbeat bill, into law. The bill is a "trigger law" and it would only begin if a similar ban is upheld in a separate court.
The bill would make it illegal to perform an abortion on a woman in Idaho once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Providers could face up to five years in prison and the woman who receives the abortion would be allowed to sue the provider.
According to the bill text, "fetal heartbeat" means embryonic or fetal cardiac activity or the steady and repetitive rhythmic contraction of the fetal heart within the gestational sac. Any person who intends to perform an abortion must determine if there is a fetal heartbeat, except in the case of a medical emergency. Exceptions are outlined for medical emergencies and cases of rape or incest where a victim provides a copy of a police report.
There are exceptions for medical emergencies and pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest.
According to the release, the amicus brief supports the State of Mississippi's cert petition to determine whether “all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional.” SCOTUS accepting the petition.
The brief requests SCOTUS overrule Roe and Casey because "there is no constitutional right to an abortion and, according to the principle of federalism, rights not granted in the U.S. Constitution should be entrusted to states to control," said Gov. Little's office in the release.
SCOTUS is expected to hear the case in the fall.
In a statement, Planned Parenthood Idaho State Director Mistie DelliCarpini-Tolman condemned the efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade:
“In yet another demonstration of where their priorities lie, Idaho’s top officials have chosen to waste tax-payer resources by focusing on attempts to strip away the rights of pregnant people, rather than on the pressing concerns that face the nation and our state. While the Coronavirus pandemic continues to rage and states like Idaho with low vaccination rates experience new peak-infection levels, it is unacceptable that dogmatic lawmakers would rather make political statements than work toward relevant goals.
“Idaho politicians claim to support individual freedoms, while ruthlessly attacking the right of a pregnant person to access the full spectrum of safe and legal reproductive health care. Despite these attacks, we want our patients and the public to know that our doors stay open. Abortion is still legal, and safe, everywhere in the United States and we will continue to fight to keep it that way and to expand access.”