Women, pregnant people, and reproductive rights activists are reeling about the nation’s latest blow to abortion rights. Yesterday, Idaho became the first state to pass a copycat abortion ban that successfully became law in Texas last year. Now, the Idaho bill is on its way to the desk of Idaho governor, Brad Little, to officially become law.
Anti-abortion activists have seen several state legislative and court ruling successes for their cause of late. And this summer there are real concerns that the Supreme Court may effectively reverse Roe v. Wade as more states, upwards of 26, seek to also ban abortion and allow costly litigation against abortion providers. 21 states already have trigger bans meaning that if the Supreme Court reverses Roe v. Wade, abortion bans will automatically be in effect. States are starting to fall into place like dominoes in abortion bans. Kentucky Republicans advanced a copycat Mississippi abortion ban on abortions after 15 weeks and Florida also passed abortion bans after 15 weeks. The Idaho and Texas abortion bans are more punitive at six weeks. Since the bill passed in Texas, abortions dropped 60 percent.
Idaho abortion activists worry about those who do not have the means to travel out of state for abortion care including the poor, Indigenous, Black, Latino, and rural communities. Some will have to carry their pregnancies to term or turn to unsafe abortions.
“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.
Meanwhile, some states like California and Colorado are looking to expand abortion access. State lawmakers in California are seeking to allow nurse practitioners to perform abortions, especially in communities of color where a lack of healthcare workers is rife. And, the Colorado House passed a bill over the Republican filibuster allowing its residents access to abortions even if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court. Now, the abortion rights bill heads to the Democrat-controlled state Senate where it will likely pass.