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News >  Idaho

Idaho governor signs bill outlawing abortion if Roe v. Wade is reversed

UPDATED: Fri., March 27, 2020

Idaho Gov. Brad Little responds to a reporter‘s question at the Statehouse in Boise, Idaho on Friday, March 27. Little on this week Tuesday signed a bill outlawing abortion in Idaho if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the Roe v. Wade decision. (Keith Ridler / Associated Press)
Idaho Gov. Brad Little responds to a reporter‘s question at the Statehouse in Boise, Idaho on Friday, March 27. Little on this week Tuesday signed a bill outlawing abortion in Idaho if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the Roe v. Wade decision. (Keith Ridler / Associated Press)
By Keith Ridler Associated Press

BOISE – Idaho Gov. Brad Little has signed into law legislation making abortion a crime in Idaho if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the procedure nationwide.

The Republican governor signed the measure on Tuesday, according to his website.

The measure includes exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.

Criminal punishment under the law would be a felony and apply to the people performing abortions, not the women. Doctors could have their licenses suspended or revoked.

Opponents have said the measure takes away women’s rights and doesn’t include provisions for the health of the woman.

Some pregnancies can cause serious, lifelong health problems.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Todd Lakey, has said the health of women is secondary to their unborn children. He said having the law in place could prevent some abortions in Idaho if Roe v. Wade is overturned while the state Legislature is not in session.

A Supreme Court reversal would mean abortion policy would revert to the states.

President Donald Trump has appointed two conservative judges to the U.S. Supreme Court and there is speculation the court could overturn the 1973 Roe decision.

The measure passed the Senate 27-7 and the House 49-18 mostly along party lines, with all Democrats opposed.

Some Republicans who opposed the bill said they wanted abortion in cases of incest or rape made illegal, insisted that Idaho does not need to obey Supreme Court rulings or thought the bill would make it too easy to prosecute doctors.

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