A bill that would prohibit abortions in Idaho once a fetal heartbeat is detected has passed the state legislature and now awaits Gov. Brad Little’s (R) signature.
The Idaho Fetal Heartbeat Preborn Child Protection Act (House Bill 366) would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, generally at six to eight weeks of pregnancy. Abortion providers who violate the law could face up to five years in prison, and mothers who undergo the abortion would be allowed to sue them.
The bill details exceptions due to a medical emergency, rape, or incest when a police report is provided.
The bill passed the state House on April 16 by a vote of 53-16 and passed the Idaho Senate, 25-7, last week.
While Planned Parenthood has already threatened to file a lawsuit against the bill if the governor signs it into law, State Rep. Megan Blanksma (R), who backs the measure, said it is worded to stand up in court, despite the fact that courts have blocked “Heartbeat” bills in other states, citing the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade.
“People who draft these bills go through quite a bit of language and double-check with different attorneys to make sure this is something that could stand up,” Blanksma said, according to KMVT News. “They don’t generally just throw something out there that they don’t have confidence can survive any sorts of challenges, particularly in this topic area.”
State Rep. Ilana Rubel (D) voted against the legislation and said that “there would be good cause” for the governor to veto it.
“In that pretty much the only thing this bill will do is walk the state into expensive litigation that it will probably lose,” she said. “The state has tried time and again to pass these bills that they know run afoul of Supreme Court precedent, every time they get struck down and it’s cost the state many millions of dollars.”
Mistie DelliCarpini-Tolman, Idaho director for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, one of the abortion vendor’s political affiliates, said, “Rather than focusing on COVID-19 recovery, the Idaho legislature is continuing to waste time and resources on this dangerous and unconstitutional ban on abortion before most people know they are pregnant.”
“What this bill is meant to do is punish pregnant people, plain and simple,” she added, according to KIVI News.
Planned Parenthood, which for many years thrived on its reputation of representing the rights of “women,” now eliminates that word in its statements, substituting the gender-neutral “people” instead, as its business model has transformed it into the second largest provider of transgender hormone treatments.