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Idaho attorney general, legislators ask Supreme Court to let anti-abortion law to go into effect

Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s Legislature and Attorney General have asked the state Supreme Court to allow a recently approved anti-abortion law to go into effect. The law was stayed by the Idaho Supreme Court after Planned Parenthood sued.

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden argues in a filing that the Supreme Court didn’t follow its own procedural rules when it prevented Senate Bill 1309 from going into effect last month. The bill allows people to file civil lawsuits against doctors who provide abortions after about the six-week mark in a pregnancy.

The Idaho Legislature is also petitioning the court to dismiss a challenge to Senate Bill 1309. In their filing, Idaho Speaker of the House Scott Bedke and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Winder argue Planned Parenthood’s challenge is meritless and filled with speculation.

In its initial filing, Planned Parenthood argued the law was an unconstitutional power grab.

Lawyers representing Bedke and Winder compare the debate over abortion to historic legal battles over segregation and slavery. They argue the new law doesn’t violate the Idaho State Constitution’s equal protection clause, because they don’t consider abortions to be normal medical procedures. They also said the way 1309 is enforced -- through civil lawsuits filed by family members -- doesn’t violate the Idaho Constitution’s separation of powers provision.

Wasden and the lawmakers called for the court to allow 1309 to go into effect.

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.