Idaho weighs three pro-life laws; decision expected in a few months

By Dave Andrusko

Earlier this year, on January 5th, the Idaho Supreme Court allowed three pro-life laws to go into effect. Last week the Justices “sharply questioned” attorneys for both sides—the state defending the laws, the ACLU challenging them.

The laws were a near total abortion ban; a 6-Week Ban— the “Preborn Child Protection Act”; and a Civil Liability Law which “allows healthcare professionals who performed or induced an abortion in violation of the law to be civilly sued for attorney fees and statutory damages of not less than $20,000,” according to Skyler Lee.

Last Thursday, Alan Schoenfeld, the attorney representing a regional Planned Parenthood affiliate, told the court “For 50 years, generations of Idaho women have had control over their bodies and lives with respect to the most intimate personal and private decision imaginable whether to carry a pregnancy to term or whether to terminate it,” the Associated Press’s Rebecca Boone reported.

Boone added that Schoenfeld “said that Idaho’s Constitution recognizes that people have the right to privacy, to bodily autonomy, and to procreate, and the procreation right was recognized by the state Supreme Court even before the right to abortion was enshrined in Roe v. Wade.”

Justice Gregory Moeller challenged Schoenfeld: “It would seem to me that procreation would be the opposite of abortion,” the justice said.

According to Boone’s story

Megan Larrondo, the deputy attorney general representing the state, said that the right to liberty doesn’t include the right to end another human life. The right to liberty has to have boundaries, she said, “because it could go crazy places.”

Justice John Stegner asked if protecting the health of the mother should be one of those boundaries.

“It seems like you are arguing that the unborn life has priority over the woman who became pregnant,” Stegner told Larrondo.

When it’s a choice between the fetus’ life and the life of the mother, the life of the mother should take priority, Larrondo told the court. But when it’s a choice between the fetus’ life and the health of the mother, the fetus’ life should be protected.”

Monte Stewart represented the Idaho Legislature. He urged the justices to follow the Supreme Court’s reasoning in Dobbs, which overturning Roe v. Wade.

“Any decision recognizing that there is a “fundamental right at stake” for pregnant women would turn the state’s highest court into legislators rather than judges,” Stewart said.