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Texas-style abortion bill heads to full House

Idaho Statehouse
Posted at 4:58 PM, Mar 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-09 18:58:31-05

The anti-abortion bill — modeled after a similar law in Texas — advanced again inside the Idaho Statehouse.

After almost an hour of public testimony, the bill passed through the House State Affairs Committee Wednesday morning and is now headed to the House floor.

Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates has continued to voice concerns over SB1309, stating the bill will eliminate almost all abortion care in Idaho.

“We know what an abortion ban like this would look like. We don’t even have to guess because we’ve seen the impacts in Texas,” Planned Parenthood Alliance Idaho State Director Mistie Dellicarpini-Tolman said.

The bill looks to amend Idaho’s current Fetal Heartbeat Act and allow civil lawsuits against medical professionals.

“Idaho’s bill differs slightly from Texas' in that it allows certain relatives of the fetus to sue providers rather than the general public but in the end, the effect it would have would be the same; a massive liability threat that’s so significant that few remaining providers in Idaho would have to cease the majority of abortions,” Dellicarpini-Tolman said. “This six-week ban coupled with the restrictions that are already on the books in Idaho would put abortion out of reach entirely for most Idahoans.”

Blaine Conzatti who drafted the bill says because the Texas law has withstood legal battle — there's a clear pathway for Idaho to follow the same practices.

“When we hear a heartbeat, we recognize that there is indeed a sign of life and this legislation protects those beating hearts,” Conzatti said.

Testimony on the bill lasted nearly an hour Wednesday morning. One woman, who said she is a NICU Registered Nurse, said the bill was “scientifically and medically inaccurate.”

“At six weeks, a fetus has not formed. It is an embryo. A bundle of cells. The embryo does not have anything resembling a cardiovascular system. That some electrical activity that can be picked up from the cells does not mean there is a heartbeat. There is no heart at 6 weeks,” Vanessa Rosenbaum said.

While others testified in support of the bill, including one woman who said Idaho is neglecting its duty to protect unborn life.

“It's time for the state to stop neglecting its duty and protect every beating heart in Idaho,” Kelly Cope said.

To watch the public testimony, click here.