BOISE, Idaho — As the State of Idaho faces multiple lawsuits from both the U.S. Department of Justice and Planned Parenthood over the state's restrictive abortion laws, state officials remain divided on the topic.
The hearings over the Planned Parent lawsuit started Wednesday in Boise.
Blaine Conzatti, president of the Idaho Family Policy Center, is at the center of a pro-life organization and helped author the Idaho's Heartbeat Bill.
After the start of the hearings today, Conzatti reacted to how they went.
“We’re really pleased with how the hearing went today before the Idaho State Supreme Court and we’re confident that, in about two weeks, the Idaho heart beat law will go into effect protecting pre-born babies with beating hearts," Conzatti told Idaho News 6. "Extending legal protections to those children who have long been denied justice in this state. And the trigger law is scheduled to go into effect a week after that. Based on how the hearings went today, we’re confident that the Idaho State Supreme Court understands the state constitution does allow the state legislature to protect pre-born life. Extending legal protections to all people regardless of their stage of development.”
Conzatti said the Family Policy Center will wait for a decision from the Idaho Supreme Court in the coming weeks but he is confident the rulings will go his way.
After the hearings, Planned Parenthood held a press conference about the hearings in Boise. Multiple speakers offered support for the organization's suits against the state.
Dr. Caitlin Gustafson, an OB-GYN for St. Lukes in McCall and a plaintiff in the suit, said that despite differing opinions on the subject, abortion should be a personal decision left up to each pregnant person.
"While we can and must respect each others' deeply held personal beliefs around abortion," Gustafson said. "We must also understand and respect decisions around pregnancy are deeply personal and often complex. If allowed to go into effect, these bans will hurt pregnant people and could cost lives."
Gustafson also asked Idaho Gov. Brad Little to stop endorsing restrictive abortion laws and instead focus on upholding access to reproductive health care.