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Decision Should Serve as a Warning to All Fifty States

NEW YORK, NY – Planned Parenthood Action Fund today applauded a federal district court judge’s decision to permanently enjoin Idaho’s dangerous and unconstitutional ban on abortion at 20 weeks.  The decision to block Idaho’s abortion ban should serve as a warming that these bills are unconstitutional and bad health policy.

Despite that, yesterday the Arkansas legislature passed a 12-week ban over the veto of Governor Mike Beebe, and Texas Governor Rick Perry announced that a 20-week ban is priority legislation in Texas as part of his strategy to make “abortion at any stage a thing of the past in Texas.”  In all 50 states, Planned Parenthood is working to ensure that women across the country have access to reproductive health care, no matter what.

Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund: 

“This ruling is a warning to other states around the country that are passing bans on abortion that are unconstitutional and dangerous for women. Voters and the courts agree that politicians should not be making personal health care decisions for women, but this decision comes just a day after Arkansas passed the most extreme abortion ban in the United States.  These laws are outrageous and unconstitutional, and they will not stand.

“Politicians should not be involved in a woman’s personal medical decisions about her pregnancy.  Laws like Idaho’s 20-week ban on abortion have had devastating consequences when a woman is experiencing serious medical complications with her pregnancy.  While later abortions are uncommon, it is important that a woman and her doctor have every medical option available to protect a woman’s health. In states that have passed these bans, some women and their families have been put into heartbreaking and tragic situations — needing to end a pregnancy for serious medical reasons, but unable to do so.” 


  • Since 2010, 10 states have enacted unconstitutional laws like Idaho’s, placing impermissible limits on when women can get abortions.  In states that have passed laws like this, some women and their families have been put into heartbreaking and tragic situations — needing to end a pregnancy for serious medical reasons but unable to do so.
  • In holding the Idaho law unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill wrote, “The State's clear disregard of this controlling Supreme Court precedent and its apparent determination to define viability in a manner specifically and repeatedly condemned by the Supreme Court evinces an intent to place an insurmountable obstacle in the path of women seeking non-therapeutic abortions of a nonviable fetus at and after twenty weeks’ gestation.”
  • In a Pew poll released in January, more than six in ten (63 percent) respondents said they would not like to see the court completely overturn the Roe v. Wade decision.
  • A Wall Street Journal/NBC poll released in January found that a majority of Americans (70 percent) oppose efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade — marking the highest percentage on this question since 1989.