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Anti-abortion bill awaits Senate debate

Idaho Statehouse
Posted at 5:57 PM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 19:57:47-05

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho lawmakers introduced an anti-abortion bill, modeled after similar legislation in Texas, that would outlaw most abortions in our state. If passed, the bill would ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, and allow extended family members to sue doctors who perform the procedure.

“This bill is a blatantly unconstitutional attempt to make an end-run around the constitutional right to abortion.” Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates VP for Policy & Regulatory Affairs Lisa Humes-Schulz said.

“Because the Texas bill has withstood those legal challenges, we have a pathway that’s wide open for us to begin protecting these pre-born babies with beating hearts right away in Idaho and so we are not going to let a day go by where we are not working to make sure those preborn babies are protected legally by law,” Idaho Family Policy Center President Blaine Conzatti said.

The bill passed committee and now awaits its turn on the Senate floor, but Planned Parenthood officials say this bill is dangerous and eliminates nearly all care in Idaho.

“Different people are going to find out when they're pregnant at different times. Either way, its already very hard to get an abortion in Idaho,” Humes-Sanchez said. “There's a waiting period, there are limited abortion providers. People are already traveling an average of 250 miles to get an abortion so the number of hoops that people already have to go through to get an abortion in Idaho. By six weeks, it may already be impossible to get the care.”

Conzatti introduced the legislation which is backed by a panel of Idaho lawmakers.

“That heartbeat is easily detectable with normal ultrasound equipment a five and a half to six weeks of pregnancy and we protect people with beating hearts throughout the course of their lives but we don’t yet before they are born so this law would ensure equal protection for those babies,” Conzatti said.

RELATED: Abortions dropped by 60% in Texas one month after restrictive law took effect

“Abortion is still protected by the constitution so what this is doing is it is making an end-run around the constitutional right to abortion care by putting it in this private right of action which makes it incredibly hard for us to challenge in the courts and that will have an absolutely chilling effect on constitutional rights in Idaho,” Humes-Schulz said.

To read more about the bill click here.