On Monday, the Idaho House of Representatives passed a pro-life law similar to the Texas legislation that bans abortions after cardiac activity can be detected — at about six weeks of pregnancy.
SB 1309 passed the Idaho House in a 51-14 vote. It had already been approved in the Idaho Senate and now goes to Republican Governor Brad Little’s desk to be signed into law. The bill makes exceptions for abortions in the case of a medical emergency, rape, or incest, whereas the Texas law does not make exceptions for rape or incest.
Much like the Texas law, the Idaho version prohibits abortion once a fetal heartbeat has been detected. It appears the law will go into effect thirty days after it is signed.
The Texas law allows private citizens to sue anyone who performs an abortion, or anyone who aids or abets an abortion in violation of the law, but the Idaho law limits the people allowed to sue to family members only. The mother, father, grandparent, sibling, or aunt or uncle of the unborn child could sue for a minimum of $20,000.
It also only allows the “medical professionals who knowingly or recklessly attempted, performed, or induced the abortion” in violation of the law to be sued. It doesn’t allow a father to sue if the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest.
There’s still some debate whether the Texas pro-life law will stand long term, but for now, it’s the law of the land in Texas.
As The Daily Wire reported, “Texas’s Supreme Court unanimously ruled against abortion supporters [last week], dealing a final blow to a challenge to the state’s abortion ban.”
“Texas law does not grant the state-agency executives named as defendants in this case any authority to enforce the Act’s requirements, either directly or indirectly,” the court ruling said.
“Senate Bill 8 provides that its requirements may be enforced by a private civil action, that no state official may bring or participate as a party in any such action, that such an action is the exclusive means to enforce the requirements, and that these restrictions apply notwithstanding any other law.”
“Based on these provisions,” the court continued, “we conclude that Texas law does not grant the state-agency executives named as defendants in this case any authority to enforce the Act’s requirements, either directly or indirectly.”
The new legal pathway of using civil lawsuits to curb abortion seems to be gaining ground.
Other states are taking notice. Tennessee just introduced a similar pro-life law this week, but the legal loophole of civil lawsuits might be unnecessary in the long run. As The Daily Wire reported, “Tennessee Republican lawmakers introduced a new abortion restriction law on Tuesday modeled after recent legislation in Texas that would ban most abortions.”
“The Volunteer State already has some of the strongest pro-life laws in the nation. The new bill would further limit abortions, allowing private citizens the ability to file civil lawsuits against those who perform an abortion,” the report added.
Americans are waiting to see what the U.S. Supreme Court decides on a law out of Mississippi that bans abortion after 15 weeks.
If the high court sides with Mississippi, they could strike down Roe v. Wade. If Roe falls, then states will once again be able to write their own laws on abortion and they won’t need these loopholes.