Two Idaho pro-life laws allowed to take effect after state Supreme Court rulings

Two pro-life laws passed by the Idaho legislature were allowed to take effect after a state Supreme Court decision Friday that relied heavily on recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings that overturned Roe V. Wade. 

One of the laws was a total abortion ban, and the other is a Texas-style heartbeat law that allows an unborn child’s relatives to sue abortion providers for up to $20,000.

The rulings allow the laws to take effect even as legal challenges on the merits continue to play out; the court said that given the overturning of Roe V. Wade, the challenges are unlikely to succeed.

The court found that the Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health Organization “altered the landscape” of abortion laws in the U.S.

No right to abortion

“What Petitioners are asking this Court to ultimately do is to declare a right to abortion under the Idaho Constitution when—on its face—there is none,” the ruling read.

It also noted that abortion had been a criminal offense in the state right up until Roe V. Wade was declared the law of the land.

“In short, given the legal history of abortion in Idaho, we cannot simply infer such a right exists absent Roe without breaking new legal ground, which should only occur after the matter is finally submitted on the merits,” Justice Robyn Brody wrote.

Similarly, Brody wrote that neither case was likely to succeed on the merits.

Federal challenges

In addition to state-level challenges, the Department of Justice has filed a challenge to the total abortion ban at the federal level.

The DOJ is arguing that the ban’s exception to save the life of the mother is too narrow, which could cause doctors to risk violating federal law.

It’s safe to say that legal challenges to abortion bans and restrictions will continue for quite a while in an attempt to undo or limit the impact of the Dobbs ruling.

For liberals and the pro-choice crowd, it is extremely important to them that they be allowed the option of exterminating unborn life if they decide they want to do so, no matter how morally repugnant that decision is.

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