Idaho Supreme Court temporarily halts abortion ban

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(The Hill) — Idaho’s Supreme Court put a temporary halt on the state’s newly passed six-week abortion ban on Friday. 

The law, which was signed by Republican Gov. Brad Little last month, bans abortions after six weeks and allows family members to sue a person who performs an abortion after the legal time frame.

The Idaho Supreme Court’s decision will block the law from going into effect pending further review. It was set to take effect April 22.

The court gave the state until April 28 to respond to the ruling.

Although Little said he supported the ban on abortions in the law, he expressed reservations about its civil enforcement mechanism.

“While I support the pro-life policy in this legislation, I fear the novel civil enforcement mechanism will in short order be proven both unconstitutional and unwise. Deputizing private citizens to levy hefty monetary fines on the exercise of a disfavored but judicially recognized constitutional right for the purpose of evading court review undermines our constitutional form of government and weakens our collective liberties,” Little wrote.

Planned Parenthood, which sued to block the abortion ban, celebrated the court’s decision on Friday. 

“Patients across Idaho can breathe a sigh of relief tonight,” Rebecca Gibron, interim CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, said in a statement. “We are thrilled that abortion will remain accessible in the state for now, but our fight to ensure that Idahoans can fully access their constitutionally protected rights is far from over.”

“Anti-abortion lawmakers have made clear that they will stop at nothing to control our lives, our bodies, and our futures. Planned Parenthood will continue fighting for every person’s ability to access basic health care, no matter their race, zip code, or economic status. We look forward to our day in court,” she continued. 

The decision comes as the Supreme Court is set to weigh in on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban later this year. 

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