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Right all along?

North Idaho Rep. Wayne Meyer says a series of court decisions, including Friday’s appeals court decision invalidating Idaho’s parental-consent abortion law, prove he was right all along. Meyer opposed the consent law when it passed in 2000, but he said the vote that brought him the most criticism in his recent primary election defeat was against a bill to ban “partial-birth abortion.” Meyer didn’t debate the bill, but voted against it, because “several Attorney General’s opinions said it was unconstitutional,” he said. Immediately after it passed, the law was voided by a federal court.

“It’ll be back, and somebody will bring it forward, they always do,” said the five-term representative and bluegrass seed farmer. “The way I feel about it, it’s brought forward just to label people.”

Meyer’s quietly pro-choice record in the Legislature drew less attention than his support for bluegrass field-burning, a practice that’s become increasingly controversial and is opposed by the primary victor, Phil Hart. But much of the talk in the primary was about abortion.

“I don’t like abortion,” Meyer said. “But I still think it should be a woman’s choice,” particularly in cases of rape, incest and threats to the mother’s health. “These people, especially my opponent, say that there’s too much government, too much government, but yet they want to put restrictions on people’s choices when it comes to this issue. So is that really less government?”

Meyer hasn’t decided if he’ll seek office again in the future. This summer, as chairman of the northern subgroup of a special legislative committee studying a major water rights agreement, he’s said he’s busier with legislative duties than he’s ever been.

“I plan on staying involved to some degree,” he said. “We’ll see what happens down the road.”

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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