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News >  Idaho

Will heartbeat abortion ban take effect amid lawsuit? What the Idaho Supreme Court ruled

UPDATED: Fri., May 20, 2022

A sign is taped to a hanger taped to a streetlight in front of the Idaho Capitol on May 3.  (Sarah A. Miller/Idaho Statesman)
A sign is taped to a hanger taped to a streetlight in front of the Idaho Capitol on May 3. (Sarah A. Miller/Idaho Statesman)
By Ryan Suppe Idaho Statesman

The Idaho Supreme Court on Friday denied an attorney general request to vacate the stay on the state’s heartbeat abortion law, further delaying implementation of the new law.

The April 28 petition asked the court to reverse its decision to put the law on hold. The law would ban most abortions and allow family members to sue abortion providers after electrical activity on an ultrasound can be detected, or after about six weeks of pregnancy.

A regional Planned Parenthood affiliate sued the state before the law was scheduled to take effect.

The attorney general’s office, which is representing the state before the Idaho Supreme Court, argued the court’s order was improper because there was no motion or agreement among parties to ask for it.

The court issued the stay, blocking the law from taking effect, after the plaintiffs and defendants asked the court to “preserve the status quo” – its current abortion laws – according to last month’s order.

“Yet the state now asks this court to reconsider the stay it properly entered under the Idaho appellate rules and its own inherent authority,” attorneys for Planned Parenthood wrote in a May 12 filing defending the stay. “The state cannot rewrite its own filings to disclaim responsibility for the stay, nor may it resurrect arguments it elected not to make in prior briefing.”

The court issued the stay “pending further action” by the court. Justices did not explain their reasoning for denying the state’s request to reverse the stay.

A leaked U.S. Supreme Court opinion revealed the nation’s highest court appears poised to reverse landmark abortion cases that guaranteed the right to a legal abortion.

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