Idaho Gov Signs Bill into Law Banning Abortions after Fetal Heartbeat Detected
Gov. Brad Little (R) signed anti-abortion legislation into state law
The Republican governor of Idaho has signed a new bill into state law that bans women from having an abortion after a fetal heartbeat has been detected.
Gov. Brad Little (R) signed the legislation into law Tuesday that outlaws most abortions.
The bill would make it illegal for a woman to terminate her pregnancy after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can happen as early as six weeks.
The law effectively makes most abortions illegal in the state as many women don’t realize they’re pregnant before they’re six weeks along.
But the law has a "trigger" provision, however.
The provision means it won’t go into effect until a similar law is upheld by a federal appeals court.
It also makes exceptions for medical emergencies and rape and incest if women can provide a police report.
Critics say the rape and incest exception would likely be difficult for some women to meet since Idaho law prevents the release of police reports in active investigations and many women don't immediately report assaults.
"Idaho is a state that values the most innocent of all lives – the lives of babies," Little said in a statement Tuesday.
"We should never relent in our efforts to protect the lives of the preborn.
"Hundreds and hundreds of babies lose their lives every year in Idaho due to abortion, an absolute tragedy.
"I appreciate Idaho lawmakers for continuing to protect lives by passing this important legislation, and I am proud to sign the bill into law today."
The bill bans abortions after a baby’s heartbeat is detected, around five or six weeks after conception. The legislation makes exceptions for medical emergencies and pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest. #IDLeg pic.twitter.com/YIfGl6O00b— Brad Little (@GovernorLittle) April 27, 2021
Supporters of the legislation say they would like it challenged in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and then decided at the U.S. Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority after President Donald Trump appointed three conservative justices.
Under the law, a professional who provides an abortion could face five years in prison and the pregnant woman could sue the professional.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Still also signed a bill this week, outlawing abortions after a heartbeat is detected.
Family Policy Alliance, a pro-life group, said in a statement that the governor "showed that Idaho recognizes the value of every preborn life when he signed the Heartbeat Bill this morning," according to KIVI-TV in Boise.
"We are proud that Idaho can be added to the list of pro-life states leading the charge in offering legal protection for our youngest and most defenseless residents.
"The action taken today by Gov. Brad Little will ultimately save thousands of precious lives."
Let's be clear: Nothing changes today or in the future. Abortion is still legal in Idaho, even after six weeks. This is a trigger law that would ONLY begin IF a similar ban is upheld in a separate court. And, of course, we'll sue to stop it then. #idleg #idpol #politicalgames https://t.co/t4rdr6nle4— Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates - West (@PPAAWest) April 27, 2021
Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates - West, which opposes the legislation, said in a statement on Twitter, "Nothing changes today or in the future. Abortion is still legal in Idaho, even after six weeks.
"This is a trigger law that would ONLY begin IF a similar ban is upheld in a separate court.
"And, of course, we'll sue to stop it then. #idleg #idpol #politicalgames."