By Dave Andrusko
A bill to ban partial-birth abortions in Idaho has passed both the state Senate (29-6) and a committee in the state House (12-3). The anticipation is the full House will vote on SB 1049 tomorrow.
Pro-abortion Democrats insisted the law was unnecessary and that partial-birth abortions are already banned in Idaho. However “Bill sponsor Sen. Lori Den Hartog, R-Meridian, said SB 1049 will make Idaho law consistent with a federal ban enacted in 2003,” according to Erin Bamer of the Idaho Press-Tribune. That is important for two reasons, as Ingrid Duran, director of State Legislation told NRL News Today.
First, it is true that Idaho passed an earlier version of a ban on partial-birth abortions. But it mirrored the Nebraska law which the Supreme Court struck down in 2000 in its Stenberg v. Carhart decision. A federal court subsequently invalidated Idaho’s law, Duran explained.
The 2003 law Hartog referenced is the federal ban on partial-birth abortions upheld in 2007 by the Supreme Court in Gonzales v. Carhart.
Second, “While it’s illegal to perform a partial-birth abortion everywhere in the United States, having a state law on the books allows for state district attorneys to prosecute those who break the law instead of waiting for a federal prosecutor who may or may not go after those who willingly perform this gruesome abortion technique,” Duran said.