The Idaho Supreme Court issued a temporary Stay on the state’s recently enacted abortion ban after Planned Parenthood filed suit against state legislators attempting to reassert their authority after nearly fifty years of federal overreach stemming from Roe v. Wade.
Governor Brad Little (R-ID) had signed Senate Bill 1309 into law on March 23 with trepidation after his state’s legislative branch had taken inspiration from the Texas ban. That law, though challenged, has been permitted by the U.S. Supreme Court to remain in effect until a court challenge is decided.
The challenge to the Idaho law from Planned Parenthood has led the state Supreme Court to delay the April 22 enactment and has instructed further briefs to be filed by either side within 28 days that the Court may better make a lasting ruling. Idaho Chief Justice G. Richard Bevan signed the Stay and also wrote, “The Petitioners are ordered to file a reply brief…no later than fourteen (14) days after the response brief is filed.”
BREAKING: The Idaho Law that would ban abortions after six weeks has been blocked temporarily by the Idaho Supreme Court and will not go into effect on April 22. @IdahoNews6 pic.twitter.com/IbdUZY3aBR
— Jake Garcia (@JakeGarciaTV) April 8, 2022
Naturally, Planned Parenthood interim CEO Rebecca Gibron who represents the Great Northwest was pleased. “We are thrilled that abortion will remain accessible in the state for now,” she wrote in a statement reported by the Associated Press. “But our fight to ensure that Idahoans can fully access their constitutionally protected rights is far from over.”
“We look forward to our day in court,” Gibron added. “Anti-abortion lawmakers have made clear that they will stop at nothing to control our lives, our bodies, and our futures. Planned Parenthood will continue fighting for every person’s ability to access basic health care.”
Little had expressed his doubts about the constitutionality of the legislation, writing, “Deputizing private citizens to levy hefty monetary fines on the exercise of a disfavored but judicially recognized constitutional right for the purpose of evading court review undermines our constitutional form of government and weakens our collective liberties.”
He was referencing measures in the law that allow for relatives of the unborn child to sue an abortion provider for a minimum of $20,000 within four years of the act. Rapists were excluded from such legal recourse as provisions were made to protect the mother in cases of rape, incest, and medical emergencies.
“While I support the pro-life policy in this legislation, I fear the novel civil enforcement mechanism will in short order be proven both unconstitutional and unwise,” Little added, though he signed the measure anyway.
Several other states have taken similar measures of late as lawmakers await a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on the challenge to Roe v. Wade issued by the state of Mississippi. Argued on the grounds of a right to privacy, Roe has remained the law of the land since 1973 legally permitting abortion up to the 24th week of pregnancy.
Mississippi’s attorney general Lynn Fitch argued, “The Roe decision shackles states to a view of facts that is decades old, such that while science, medicine, technology, and culture have all rapidly progressed since 1973, duly enacted law on abortion are unable to keep up.”
“The Supreme Court,” Fitch went on, “can return decision-making about abortion policy to the elected leaders and allow the people to empower women and promote life.”
Experts expect as many as 26 states to ban abortion outright should Roe be overturned. Meanwhile, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) just signed a law many consider outright evil, allowing abortions up to birth with no apparent restrictions, further signaling expectations that Roe may be on the way out.
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