BOISE (LifeSiteNews) – The Idaho Supreme Court ruled Friday that Idaho’s 2020 ban on most abortions may finally take effect, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June ruling expressly affirming and restoring states’ discretion to set their own abortion policies.
In 2020, Idaho adopted a “trigger law” that would ban all abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or threats to a mother’s life, which would not go into effect until the nation’s highest court overturned Roe v. Wade, as happened in June’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Under the law, abortionists could face five years in prison and suspension of their medical licenses.
Planned Parenthood petitioned to continue blocking the law from taking effect, however, and the Biden administration attempted to lend its weight to the effort as well, claiming that the law violates the federal Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTLA) by supposedly prohibiting abortions in cases of “women suffering medical emergencies” – (the law explicitly contains an exception for such cases.
The Biden suit is still pending in federal court, but Idaho 6 News reports that the state’s highest court determined the trigger law may take effect on August 19, as can another pro-life law enacted this year, enforced by citizen civil suits, effective August 25. Hearings on the merits of the suits will begin on September 29.
“Petitioners must demonstrate a substantial likelihood of success on the merits or a ‘clear right’ to the ultimate relief requested,” the court ruled. “In the post-Dobbs landscape, Petitioners cannot meet this burden and as such, are not entitled to the drastic relief they pursue.”
“We again conclude that Petitioners have failed to establish a substantial likelihood of success on the merits or a ‘clear right’ to relief on any of their claims,” the ruling continues, “and, therefore, have failed to carry their burden to demonstrate that we should continue to stay the enforcement of S.B. 1309.”
“As we have been saying for months, our Idaho Heartbeat law is constitutionally, scientifically, and morally sound,” said Idaho Family Policy Center president Blaine Conzatti. “We were confident that our Heartbeat law would withstand judicial scrutiny, and today is a life-saving step in that direction. We remain confident that further litigation on this issue will result in the same outcome, and we expect that thousands of babies will…receive the opportunity to live their lives as a result of this law.”
Across the country, abortion giant Planned Parenthood has suspended abortions and/or closed locations in reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling reactivating scores of pro-life laws, and pro-life attorneys general have declared their intentions to enforce their states’ duly-enacted abortion prohibitions.
But leftists prosecutors in dozens of localities have vowed not to enforce such laws, and pro-abortion activists have refocused efforts on supporting interstate travel for abortion and enshrining “rights” to abortion in state constitutions, ensuring that work and debate will continue over the prospect of banning abortion nationally. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has called for electing more Democrats to Congress to support codifying a “right” to abortion-on-demand in federal law.