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.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.