BOISE, Idaho (LifeSiteNews) — Idaho may soon become the latest state to adopt the Texas model of banning abortion, as a heartbeat-based law with a similar enforcement mechanism won its final approval from the state legislature Monday.
US News & World Report reports that the Idaho House gave its final approval Monday to the Fetal Heartbeat, Preborn Child Protection Act, which would empower the father, grandparents, siblings, aunts, or uncles of an aborted baby to sue an abortionist for killing him or her, for damages of at least $20,000, provided the baby had a detectable heartbeat, which generally means around six weeks.
The Act is modeled after the now-famous Texas Heartbeat Act, which so far has avoided injunction by the judiciary in large part because of its unique enforcement mechanism that relies on civil suits by private citizens, rather than prosecution by the government. The Idaho bill is narrower in that it only empowers relatives of an aborted baby to sue, whereas the Texas law empowers all citizens to do so.
Idaho already has another heartbeat-based abortion ban on the books, a more conventional law relying on state enforcement. But that ban contains a trigger provision ensuring it will not take effect until the constitutionality of six-week abortion bans is formally upheld.
Should it be signed into law by Republican Gov. Brad Little, the new Idaho law’s final fate will be in the hands of the courts and their final resolution of the Texas case. So far the Supreme Court has allowed the Texas law to remain in effect, leading to the estimated prevention of 15,000 abortions, but arguments on the merits continue to work their way through the lower courts.
Across the nation, pro-lifers are watching the Supreme Court with anticipation for eventual final resolution of the legal battle over the Texas law, which is likely to eventually be appealed to the justices again, as well as a ruling on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, which could result in a long-awaited overturn of Roe v. Wade that would allow states to directly ban abortion at any point in pregnancy, without having to rely on novel enforcement mechanisms like the Texas or Idaho measures.