BOISE, Idaho — Gov. Brad Little signed House Bill 366, the fetal heartbeat bill, into law on Tuesday.
The bill makes it illegal to perform an abortion on a woman in Idaho once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can happen as early as six weeks. Providers could face up to five years in prison and the woman who receives the abortion would be allowed to sue the provider.
The bill bans abortions after a baby’s heartbeat is detected, around five or six weeks after conception. The legislation makes exceptions for medical emergencies and pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest. #IDLeg pic.twitter.com/YIfGl6O00b— Brad Little (@GovernorLittle) April 27, 2021
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.
Idaho is a state that values the most innocent of all lives -- the lives of babies. We should never relent in our efforts to protect the lives of the preborn. Hundreds and hundreds of babies lose their lives every year in Idaho due to abortion, an absolute tragedy. I appreciate Idaho lawmakers for continuing to protect lives by passing this important legislation, and I am proud to sign the bill into law today.
Family Policy Alliance of Idaho released a statement after the bill was signed applauding Gov. Little. Blaine Conzatti, the executive director of Family Policy Alliance of Idaho, sent the following written statement:
Gov. Brad Little showed that Idaho recognizes the value of every preborn life when he signed the Heartbeat Bill this morning. We are proud that Idaho can be added to the list of pro-life states leading the charge in offering legal protection for our youngest and most defenseless residents. The action taken today by Gov. Brad Little will ultimately save thousands of precious lives.
This Heartbeat Bill is constitutionally, scientifically, and morally sound. And thanks to modern medical technology, every new parent now knows the excitement of first hearing their son or daughter’s heartbeat during early prenatal check-ups. This explains why a reputable national poll found that nearly 70 percent of Americans – including 55 percent of Democrats – support this life-affirming legislation. Preborn babies with beating hearts deserve the same constitutional right to life accorded to any other living person.
Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates - West responded to the signing of the bill saying abortion is still legal in Idaho and it is a "trigger law", which would only allow it to take place if a similar law is upheld in another court.
Let's be clear: Nothing changes today or in the future. Abortion is still legal in Idaho, even after six weeks. This is a trigger law that would ONLY begin IF a similar ban is upheld in a separate court. And, of course, we'll sue to stop it then. #idleg #idpol #politicalgames https://t.co/t4rdr6nle4— Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates - West (@PPAAWest) April 27, 2021