BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Legislation banning abortions in Idaho after six weeks of pregnancy by allowing potential family members to sue a doctor who performs one headed to the governor on Monday.
The House voted Monday to approve the legislation modeled after a Texas law that the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed to remain in place until a court challenge is decided on its merits.
Opponents of the Idaho legislation said it’s unconstitutional, and six weeks is before many women know they’re pregnant.
Republican Gov. Brad Little last year signed a similar so-called “fetal heartbeat” measure into law. But that one would be enforced by the state and included a trigger provision requiring a favorable federal court ruling somewhere in the country, and that hasn’t happened.
The new proposed law has a private enforcement mechanism allowing civil lawsuits. It’s modeled after a Texas law that the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed to remain in place until a court challenge is decided on its merits.
The proposed Idaho law allows the potential father, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles of a preborn child to sue an abortion provider for a minimum of $20,000 in damages within four years of the abortion.
Rapists couldn’t file such a lawsuit, but a rapist’s relatives could.