Idaho has become the first state in Texas to enact legislation banning abortion after nearly six weeks of pregnancy, allowing it to sue to avoid a constitutional court challenge.
BOISE, Idaho – Idaho became the first state on Wednesday to enact a law similar to a Texas law that prohibits abortion after nearly six weeks of gestation and allows it to be enforced through litigation to avoid a constitutional court challenge.
Republican Gov. Brad Little has signed into law a measure that would allow family members to sue a doctor who performed an abortion after cardiac activity was detected in the fetus. Still, he said he was concerned about whether the law was constitutional.
“I express my solidarity with all Idaho people who want to save the lives of preterm infants,” Little Lieutenant Gov. Janice McGachin, who is also president of the Senate, wrote in a letter.
Yet he noted: “While I support the pro-life policy in this Act, I fear that the fancy civil enforcement mechanism will in a short time prove to be both unconstitutional and unconstitutional.”
In conservative states, the law is expected to take effect 30 days after its signing, but a court challenge is expected. Opponents call it unconstitutional, and remember that six weeks ago many women knew they were pregnant.
Advanced technology can detect the first flutter of electrical activity in an embryonic cell within six weeks. This flatter is not a beating heart; It is cardiac activity that will eventually become a heart. After the eighth week of pregnancy, a fetus is called a fetus, and the actual heart begins to form between the ninth and 12th week of pregnancy.
The law allows fathers, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles of an “unborn child” to sue an abortion provider for a minimum of $ 20,000 compensation within four years after the abortion. Rapists cannot sue under the law, but relatives of rapists can.
“The cautionary approach to this bill is unreasonable,” said Lauren Necochia, a Democratic representative from Idaho. “Its effects are brutal, and it is clearly unconstitutional.”
Proponents say the law is Idaho’s best chance to strictly restrict abortion in the state after years of trying. Most recently, the state passed a six-week abortion ban law last year, but it needed a favorable federal court ruling in a similar case to take effect, and it didn’t.
The law was created in imitation of a Texas law that allowed the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on the merits of a court challenge. Texas law allows ordinary citizens to apply the law in place of state officials who would normally do so. Texas law allows clinics, doctors, and anyone who “assists or supports” an abortion that is not permitted by law to sue.
Several other states, including Tennessee, are following similar legislation, which introduced the Texas-style abortion bill on Tuesday.
Republicans in Idaho have an overwhelming majority in both the House and the Senate. The measure passed 28-6 in the Senate and 51-14 in the House without any democratic support. Three House Republicans voted against the system.
On Wednesday, Little mentioned his concerns about the law.
“Employing private citizens to impose hefty monetary fines for exercising an unpopular but judicially recognized constitutional right to avoid court review undermines our constitutional government formation and undermines our collective independence,” he wrote.
He said he was concerned that some states could use the same method to limit gun rights.
He also expressed concern about part of the law allowing rapists’ relatives to sue.
“Ultimately, this law risks recovering the victims by providing financial incentives to family members of the perpetrators and rapists,” he wrote.
He ended the letter by urging lawmakers to address these issues to avoid unintended consequences “to ensure that the state adequately protects the interests of victims of sexual harassment.”
Republican Steven Harris, who sponsored the bill, said in a statement after the March 14 vote: “This bill ensures that the people of Idaho can stand up for our values and do everything in our power to prevent the unjust destruction of innocents.” Human life. “