Idaho Becomes First State to Pass Copycat Texas-Style Abortion Ban
For Immediate Release: March 14, 2022
The six-week abortion ban, which allows certain family members to sue abortion providers, now goes to the governor’s desk after passing both legislative chambers
BOISE, ID — Today, Idaho became the first state in the nation to pass an abortion ban modeled after Texas S.B. 8, which was designed to unconstitutionally block access to abortion and sidestep judicial review. The state House voted 51 to 14 to pass SB 1309, following the Senate’s passage earlier this month. The bill will ban nearly all abortions after approximately six weeks of pregnancy — before many people have time to access abortion care — and allow certain individuals, even if they have no relationship to the pregnant person, to sue any abortion providers who violate the ban.
Idaho’s anti-abortion lawmakers ignored public opinion and rushed through this legislation, looking to capitalize on the U.S. Supreme Court’s failure to block Texas’s ban. The bill’s sponsors and supporters have even explicitly stated their desire for Idaho to be the next Texas. In the first month that Texas’s ban was in effect, it eliminated 60 percent of in-state abortions.
The ban won’t just deny Idahoans their constitutional right to abortion care, but also effectively eliminate care entirely for many residents who are financially unable to travel out-of-state to obtain the care they need. This will disproportionately affect the state’s Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, people with low incomes, and those in rural areas. The reality is that some pregnant people in Idaho will be forced to carry unwanted or dangerous pregnancies to term against their will.
“Physicians and medical providers around the world live by a simple principle: ‘First, do no harm.’ Sadly, Idaho politicians have not taken a similar oath, and are determined to ban abortion, no matter the harm it would inflict on their constituents,” said Jennifer M. Allen, CEO of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates. “SB 1309 is a travesty grounded in bad motives, questionable legality, and no science at all. Governor Little must do the right thing, listen to the medical community, and veto this legislation before it forces Idaho patients to leave the state for critical, time-sensitive care or remain pregnant against their will.”
“It is appalling that anyone could look at the chaos and harm in Texas over the past six months and think, ‘I want that for the people in my state.’ But today, anti-abortion politicians in Idaho did just that,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “This ban will inflict harm on pregnant people in Idaho if it is allowed to go into effect, and it will disproportionately impact our already underserved communities. Make no mistake: Planned Parenthood will continue to provide care in Idaho, and we will continue fighting for our patients and communities. We’re not done.”
The bill now goes to the governor’s desk, where he has ten days to sign, allow the bill to become law, or veto — which the legislature would be expected to immediately override. Once the bill becomes law, the emergency clause would take effect in 30 days.
Without judicial relief, patients could be looking at the last month of abortion access in Idaho.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit membership organization formed as the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. The Action Fund engages in educational, advocacy, and limited electoral activity, including grassroots organizing, legislative advocacy, and voter education.
Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates, Serving AK, HI, ID, IN, KY, WA (PPAA) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization educating residents and policymakers about reproductive health issues in Alaska, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky and Washington. PPAA lobbies and educates to advance Planned Parenthood's mission, and engages in limited electoral activities.