Idaho Supreme Court upholds state’s laws protecting most preborn children from abortion

prenatal, abortion, down syndrome

The state of Idaho emerged victorious in a multi-year battle against Planned Parenthood to keep three pro-life laws in place.

In 2020, Planned Parenthood began its court battles, filing a lawsuit challenging a law protecting nearly all preborn children from abortion in the state. The next year, they filed another lawsuit to have the state’s heartbeat law overturned, and finally, in 2022, sued to strike down a law allowing family members of a preborn child to sue for damages after an abortion. However, the Idaho Supreme Court ruled against them in all three instances.

Initially, Planned Parenthood claimed there was a right in the state constitution to abortion, but the Supreme Court disagreed, saying, “We cannot read a fundamental right to abortion into the text of the Idaho Constitution.”

For every dollar given, 34 more people can be reached with the truth about abortion. Will you join us in this life-saving work as a monthly donor today?

For abortion to be a protected right, it would need to be “deeply rooted” in the traditions and history of the state, and there would need to be clear evidence that the framers of the constitution intended for it to be protected.

“There simply is no support for a conclusion that a right to abortion was ‘deeply rooted’ at the time the Inalienable Rights Clause was adopted,” the court ruled. “To the contrary, the relevant history and traditions of Idaho show abortion was viewed as an immoral act and treated as a crime. Thus, we cannot conclude the framers and adopters of the Inalienable Rights Clause intended to implicitly protect abortion as a fundamental right.”

However, the court added that voters could change this if they wanted to.

“If the people of Idaho are dissatisfied with the policy choices the legislature has made or wish to enshrine a fundamental right to abortion in the Idaho Constitution, they can make these choices for themselves through the ballot box,” the court said.

Planned Parenthood reacted with anger to the ruling, calling it a “dark day” for Idaho in a statement. “Planned Parenthood will never back down,” Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai‘i, Indiana, Kentucky, said. “We will keep fighting with everything we’ve got to restore Idahoans’ right to control our bodies and our lives. No matter what happens, Planned Parenthood is here for you. Our doors are open in Idaho, and our teams are ready to help you get the care you need, even if that means traveling out of state.”

The Idaho Family Policy Center, however, celebrated the ruling as a win for life. “We have been saying for years that the Heartbeat law drafted and championed by Idaho Family Policy Center is constitutionally, scientifically, and morally sound. Today settles that debate once and for all,” Blaine Conzatti, the center’s president, said in a statement. “Because of these two pro-life laws, thousands of Idaho babies will receive the opportunity to live their lives and reach their highest potential.”

On the opposite side of the country this week, however, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled in the opposite manner about that state’s pro-life heartbeat law. That court, in a 3-2 vote, stated that the killing of a preborn human being is part of an individual’s “privacy” under “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures and unreasonable invasions of privacy shall not be violated.”

The South Carolina Speaker of the House, Murrell Smith, criticized that ruling, saying it “fails to respect the concept of separation of powers and strips the people of this state from having a say in a decision that was meant to reflect their voices. Instead, South Carolina is left with a decision that is not reflective of our state’s political process or will.”

What is Live Action News?

Live Action News is pro-life news and commentary from a pro-life perspective. Learn More

Contact for questions, corrections, or if you are seeking permission to reprint any Live Action News content.

GUEST ARTICLES: To submit a guest article to Live Action News, email with an attached Word document of 800-1000 words. Please also attach any photos relevant to your submission if applicable. If your submission is accepted for publication, you will be notified within three weeks. Guest articles are not compensated. (See here for Open License Agreement.) Thank you for your interest in Live Action News!

To Top