In March of this year, Idaho governor Brad Little signed a law that deemed abortion a crime in Idaho if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned. This months-old decision has become increasingly relevant, as Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment to the Supreme Court has made the possibility of overturning Roe more of a reality.
This legislation gives almost no exceptions for rape, incest, and/or the life of the pregnant person – exceptions for rape and incest only apply if the crime has been reported to the police or child protective services. The criminality of this bill applies to whomever performs the abortion, which means that abortion care providers could have their medical licenses suspended or revoked.
Mistie Tolman, Idaho state director for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, said in a statement following the vote, “Right now, we are dealing with a pandemic of global proportions with COVID-19, but our Legislature continues its destructive and discriminatory path by only focusing on controlling people’s bodies and lives…Idaho lawmakers should not be wasting taxpayer dollars on laws that don’t have anything to do with protecting people. Idahoans deserve better, and Idahoans deserve lawmakers who are focused on making their lives better by expanding access to health care, not restricting it.”
If Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, Idaho is one of ten states that have trigger laws in place, that would immediately go into law. Nine states currently have abortion bans, and nine states have bans and laws that are currently blocked but would be enacted with the overturning of Roe. As a whole, if Roe were overturned, abortion legislation would be in the hands of each individual state, with at least half the states pledges to enact bans against the medical procedure.
Sources: Feminist Newswire 10/27/20, The Spokesman 3/27/20, Idaho State Journal 3/13/20, Feminist Newswire 10/29/20