While legal challenges are evaluated, Idaho’s abortion regulations may go into effect

The Idaho Supreme Court determined Friday that the state’s abortion restrictions may take effect while legal challenges are heard.

A doctor and Planned Parenthood affiliate sued the state over three anti-abortion measures that were set to take effect this year after Roe v. Wade was overruled.

On Aug. 25, the verdict will criminalise almost all abortions.

Doctors may still claim abortion was done to save the pregnant woman’s life in court.

Another rule permits embryo or foetal family to sue abortion doctors for up to $20,000 four years after an abortion. Rapists can’t sue, but their relatives may.

Planned Parenthood has sued over a third restriction criminalising abortions after six weeks of gestation save in circumstances of rape or incest.

The legislation took effect on August 19.

Dr. Caitlin Gustafson and Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky filed three cases. Friday’s verdict merged several lawsuits into one.

Planned Parenthood and the doctor failed to prove “irreparable injury,” the court decided.

The top court stated the plaintiffs lacked proof of a “clear right” to a remedy or a likelihood of winning on the merits.

“Petitioners want this court to proclaim an abortion right under the Idaho Constitution when there is none,” the court said.

The state’s supreme court said the intricacy of the arguments may break new legal ground.

Most justices agreed that meant concerns shouldn’t be settled until the case is resolved, which might take months.

“Given Idaho’s legal history, we can’t conclude such a right exists without breaking new legal ground,” the court ruled.

Planned Parenthood and Gustafson told the top court last week that the abortion laws’ provisions for saving a patient’s life are too unclear to obey.

“That phrase offers no sense of how urgent or significant the danger of mortality must be,” Alan Schoenfeld remarked.

“Is a 30 to 50% chance of death from pulmonary hypertension enough?”

Attorneys for Idaho and the Legislature told the court abortion has been illegal since statehood.

The U.S. Department of Justice sued Idaho over its abortion restriction last week.

Attorney General Merrick Garland stated the restriction violates the Constitution, federal law, and EMTALA (EMTALA).

“Since the Dobbs decision, there have been widespread complaints of delays and denials of care to pregnant women,” Garland stated Aug. 2.

“Today, the Justice Department says it doesn’t matter where an EMTALA-covered hospital is located.

If a patient arrives to the ER with a medical emergency, the hospital must stabilise them. Including abortion when needed.”

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