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Idaho Supreme Court allows strict, near-total abortion ban to take effect

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A near-total abortion ban can take effect in Idaho, the state Supreme Court has ruled.

The decision Friday came despite a barrage of legal challenges to the law, Fox News reported Saturday. The court did agree to expedite the various lawsuits, however.

Two justices agreed to speed up the timeline for various legal challenges to be heard, but wanted it noted that they felt the laws should not be enforced until the legal process was over.

A doctor and a local Planned Parenthood have sued Idaho over three laws restricting abortion and the Justice Department is also taking on Idaho in federal court over the near-total abortion ban.

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The state Supreme Court’s ruling means potential relatives of an embryo or fetus can now sue abortion providers over procedures done after six weeks of gestation and another stricter ban criminalizing all abortions can take effect later this month.

Potential relatives can sue for up to $20,000 within four years of an abortion. Rapists cannot sue under the law but a rapist’s family members would be able to sue, Fox reported.

Two justices agreed to speed up the timeline for various legal challenges to be heard.
Sarah A. Miller/Idaho Statesman via AP

On Aug. 25, as a result of the state Supreme Court decision, a near-total ban on all abortions will take effect. However, doctors will still be allowed to defend themselves at trial by claiming the abortion was done to save the mother’s life.

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Planned Parenthood has also sued over a third ban that criminalizes abortions done after six weeks of gestation except in cases where it was needed to save a mother’s life or done because of rape or incest. 

That law was written to take effect on Aug. 19.

Protesters, upset with the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, gather on the Idaho Capitol steps, Friday, June 24, 2022, after marching through downtown Boise, Idaho.
Protesters gather on the Idaho Capitol steps on June 24, 2022 after the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman via AP

The Supreme Court said the plaintiffs both failed to show that allowing the laws to be enforced would cause “irreparable harm” and that there was not enough evidence that they had a “clear right” to a remedy.

This ruling comes as other states face similar challenges following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

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