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Idaho Supreme Court sets hearing in abortion case for August

UPDATED: Thu., June 2, 2022

The Idaho Supreme Court building. (AP Photo/Rebecca Boone)   (Rebecca Boone)
The Idaho Supreme Court building. (AP Photo/Rebecca Boone)  (Rebecca Boone)
By Rebecca Boone Associated Press

BOISE – The Idaho Supreme Court will hear arguments in a lawsuit over the state’s newest anti-abortion law in August – likely after the U.S. Supreme Court issues a ruling that could overturn the right to legalized abortion nationwide.

The Idaho Supreme Court announced Wednesday that it would hear oral arguments on Aug. 3 in the lawsuit brought by a regional Planned Parenthood organization against Idaho’s new law banning abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, before most people know they are pregnant.

The law seeks to stop access to abortions while avoiding constitutional court challenges by allowing potential relatives of the fetus or embryo to sue abortion providers for at least $20,000 in damages within four years of an abortion. The law prohibits rapists from filing such lawsuits, but a rapist’s relatives could.

Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky operates 40 health centers across six states. In its lawsuit, the organization contends the Idaho law is unconstitutional because it violates a individual’s right to privacy and its enforcement mechanism violates the separation of powers.

The U.S. Supreme Court is likely to issue a ruling in a separate case in June or July that is expected to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, another Idaho anti-abortion law enacted in 2020 will go into effect.

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