On March 24, the legislature and Governor Brad Little (R) of Idaho made a bold move: the state will now consider abortion a crime if and when Roe v. Wade is overturned. The bill’s sponsor, Senator Todd Lakey (R), convinced his colleagues that action to save lives as soon as possible was necessary, saying:
Some of you may ask why now. We don’t know when the Supreme Court will change. … But it may happen in the nine months when we’re not in session. The ability to take action is a question of time. If this bill can save the life of one unborn child, then it is worth it. It becomes effective without a need for future legislative action.
While all Democrats voted against the new law, the legislative statement of purpose explains its effect:
This bill becomes effective when the United States Supreme Court restores to the states their authority to prohibit abortion, or the United States Constitution is amended to restore to the states their authority to prohibit abortion. Upon the occurrence of these prerequisites, this statute makes the performance of an abortion a crime.
The law in Idaho will allow abortions in the cases of rape and incest, as well as the life of the mother, to be defenses for abortion. Furthermore, only those people committing the abortions will be charged with crimes, not the mother. Many laws with this provision have the goal of protecting women who are forced into abortion, which is difficult to prove. Under Idaho’s law, when Roe is overturned, doctors who commit abortions can lose their license. As Sen. Lori Den Hartog (R) explained: “I challenge the notion that the taking of a human life is health care.”
As Dr. Anthony Levatino, an OBGYN, explains in the video below, abortion destroys a unique human being and often causes lasting physical damage to her mother as well.
This new law follows an earlier pro-life measure adopted by Idaho. The state chose to remove taxpayer funding from abortion facilities in March. As Slate reports, most Americans do not believe their tax dollars should pay for abortions: “In every poll, a plurality of Americans opposes public funding of abortions. In every poll but one, that plurality is a majority.”
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