Idaho Supreme Court hears arguments over abortion laws

Idaho Supreme Court
Posted at 10:40 AM, Oct 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-07 14:05:55-04

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Supreme Court Justices heard oral arguments Thursday on three lawsuits against Idaho's laws banning abortions. The key question during Thursday's hearing is When does a fetus have constitutional rights?

Attorneys for Planned Parenthood Great Northwest argued that a fetus gets those constitutional rights when it's able to survive outside of the womb. The state of Idaho argued those rights begin at conception.

The Idaho Supreme Court will have to look at Idaho's constitution to determine if there is a fundamental right to an abortion. Attorneys for the State of Idaho argued there is no fundamental right, in fact, even before Idaho became a state abortion was prohibited.

Attorneys for Planned Parenthood Great Northwest argued the right to an abortion is protected under the federal right to privacy and Article I of Idaho's constitution which gives people the right to "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness" saying it falls under the liberty to make decisions about your own body.

Justice Stegner asked Megan Lorrando, attorney for the state of Idaho under the legislation if the life of the fetus outweighed the mother.

In her response, Lorrando said the life of the mother outweighed the life of the fetus when the woman's life was at risk.

Stegner asked about the long-term health of the woman Lorrando suggested the life of the fetus outweighed the health of the mother.

“The goal of these abortion bans was to create confusion and chaos, and that’s exactly what Idaho politicians have done,” said Mistie DelliCarpini-Tolman, Idaho State Director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates. 

“People aren’t sure if they can even talk about abortion anymore, as we’ve seen within universities across our state and that’s unacceptable. We deserve better and it’s time we send a message with our votes.”

Blaine Conzatti of the Idaho Family Policy Center said, "We're confident that the state Supreme Court is going to vindicate these laws to allow these abortion restrictions to remain in effect."

The Idaho Supreme Court will ultimately review the case and issue an opinion or ruling.