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Politics & Government

Idaho Senate committee rejects Texas-style abortion law for now

A group of people at the Abortion March for Life holding a large banner that says "life" in red letters.
Jose Luis Magana
Anti-abortion activists march towards the U.S. Supreme Court during the "March for Life " in Washington, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022.

An effort to adopt a litigious, Texas-style abortion law in Idaho narrowly failed to get introduced Monday morning.

The proposal from the anti-abortion group, the Idaho Family Policy Center, would have let any family member of a pregnant mother sue the doctor who performed the abortion.

An abortion would be illegal after a fetal heartbeat could be detected around six weeks – before many women know they’re pregnant.

“We have an opportunity right now to employ the strategy that Texas has embarked on to start saving babies right now,” said Blaine Conzatti, president of the Idaho Family Policy Council.

The proposal would have differed from Texas’s law in two ways: it would’ve only let family members sue the doctor, and those who helped a mother get an abortion, like an Uber driver, would not be liable.

Under the Texas law, anyone in the country could sue someone for aiding and abetting a person getting an abortion after six weeks. The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed that law to stay in effect as court challenges proceed.

Senate Assistant Majority Leader Abby Lee (R-Fruitland) said she doesn’t support abortion, but that the proposal as written violates current Idaho laws.

“It absolutely contradicts a lot of the areas in child welfare, in custody, probate law,” Lee said.

The proposal could be reintroduced later this session, something Conzatti said he intends to do.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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