Idaho Supreme Court Upholds Near-total Abortion Ban after 20 weeks.
The decision was made just a few hours after the South Carolina Supreme Court said that the state’s six-week abortion ban was unconstitutional because of a clause in the state’s constitution about privacy. Under the Idaho decision, abortion will still be illegal in most cases, except when it is needed to save the life of the pregnant person or when there has been rape or incest.
On Thursday, the Idaho Supreme Court upheld several state laws that make it illegal to have an abortion in the state. The court said that the state’s constitution does not give people an implicit right to have an abortion.
In a 3-2 decision, the court said that three state laws are constitutional because the state has a “legitimate interest in protecting prenatal foetal life in all stages of development, and in protecting the health and safety of the mother.” These laws say that abortion is illegal at conception and after six weeks of pregnancy. They also have a Texas-style civil enforcement measure.
Under the Idaho decision, abortion will still be illegal in most cases, except when it is needed to save the life of the pregnant person or when there has been rape or incest.
Justice Robyn Brody, who wrote the majority opinion, rejected arguments from abortion-rights supporters that the right to abortion is implied in the state’s constitution. She said that to do so. There must be proof that the right was “deeply rooted” in the state’s history and traditions when the constitution was written.
“The important parts of Idaho’s history and traditions show that abortion was seen as wrong and treated like a crime,” Brody wrote. “Because of this, we can’t say that the people who wrote and voted for the Inalienable Rights Clause meant to protect abortion as a basic right.”
She also said that nothing in the decision stops voters from changing the state constitution or electing new lawmakers to change the law.
Brody wrote, “We want to be clear that all we’re saying today is that the Idaho Constitution, as it stands now, does not include a fundamental right to abortion.”
The decision comes just hours after the South Carolina Supreme Court said a privacy clause in the state’s constitution made the state’s six-week abortion ban unconstitutional. This means that abortions are still legal until 20 weeks of pregnancy in South Carolina. Idaho’s state constitution does not include a right to privacy, and voters turned down a proposal to add one in 1970.
There are similar cases in Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, North Dakota, Ohio, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, said the decision would “save thousands of lives a year.” She also praised Idaho lawmakers for “defending their law to their Supreme Court.”
Dannenfelser said, “The Idaho Supreme Court turned down the abortion lobby’s attempt to impose a ‘right’ to abortion on demand, recognizing that it is their job to interpret the law as written by the people of Idaho, whose elected officials have always passed pro-life laws.”
CEO of Planned Parenthood in the Great Northwest, Hawaii, Indiana, and Kentucky, Rebecca Gibron, said the ruling was “a dark day for the state of Idaho.”
“Planned Parenthood is not going to give up. Gibron said, “We will keep fighting with everything we have to give Idahoans back their right to control their bodies and lives.”
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Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.