(New York) The bill is inspired by the controversial law in Texas, which bans most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy and delegates to citizens of that state or elsewhere in the United States the power to carry it out. respect.
But there are significant differences between the Texas legislation and the text adopted Monday by a strong majority of the House of Idaho, in the wake of the Senate of this conservative state in the American Northwest.
First, the Idaho bill limits who can sue to family members of the “unborn child,” including his or her father, siblings, grandparents, and uncles or aunts, up to four years after the abortion.
Then, the text limits to abortion providers the persons likely to be prosecuted. So no question, as in Texas, of also targeting the Uber driver who drove the pregnant woman to the abortion clinic or the attendant who set the appointment.
The text also promises a bonus of at least $20,000 to whistleblowers who win their lawsuit, rather than the minimum sum of $10,000 offered in Texas.
Finally, it provides exceptions for rape and incest, unlike the law of the Lone Star State. But there’s a catch: In such circumstances, pregnant Idaho women must arrive at the clinic with a police report of the crime they say they were victims of.
But beyond the differences, the Idaho bill serves the same purpose as the Texas law, critics say.
“Ultimately, the bill would end most abortion-related care in the state of Idaho, which, by the way, is the goal of the proponents of this measure,” said to The Press Mistie DelliCarpini-Tolman, director of Planned Parenthood in Idaho, where the organization operates three clinics.
At six weeks, most women still don’t know they’re pregnant.
Mistie DelliCarpini-Tolman, director of Planned Parenthood in Idaho
Republican Idaho Gov. Brad Little has five days after receiving the bill (not counting Sundays) to sign it, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.
The Idaho measure could therefore take effect in April, several months before the Supreme Court’s expected decision on the Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. This decision could lead to the weakening or reversal of the historic judgment of 1973 Roe v. wade which legalized the termination of pregnancies until the viability of the foetus, i.e. between the 22and and 24and weeks.
But Planned Parenthood has not yet given up hope of convincing the governor to veto the bill. Although the latter is a staunch opponent of abortion, he could conclude that the parliamentarians of his party have gone too far by allowing family members of a rapist or an incestuous father to sue a doctor who has performed an abortion. illegal abortion.
“Some of the most heinous parts of this bill are what give us a faint hope that Governor Little might find the strength in his heart to say, ‘No, this law is too extreme,’” said Mistie DelliCarpini- Tolman.
A “clever approach”
In the meantime, Republican lawmakers in Idaho are congratulating themselves on having followed Texas’ example by drafting a measure that makes its legal challenge difficult, if not impossible.
“Texas’ shrewd, private approach hit the mark,” Republican Representative Steven Harris, one of the authors of the Idaho bill, said Monday. “She stopped physical and chemical abortions in their tracks. »
In fact, the number of abortions in Texas has dropped 60% since the controversial law took effect on 1er last September.
Rep. Harris otherwise refuted the argument that the Idaho bill, like the Texas law, denies women a constitutional right granted to them by the ruling. Roe v. wade.
“Texas has already gone to the Supreme Court twice, and abortions continue to be banned in that state,” he said.
The elected Republican alluded to the refusal of the conservative majority of the Supreme Court to suspend the application of the Texas law. It therefore remains in force while the case is still bogged down before the very conservative federal appeals court in New Orleans.
Abortion rights advocates may have more success challenging a possible anti-abortion law in Idaho. Their case could end up in the federal appeals court in San Francisco, renowned for its progressiveness.
“We are exploring all our options before all legal proceedings,” commented Mistie DelliCarpini-Tolman.
At least 12 US states have considered bills modeled after Texas’ anti-abortion law. A total of at least 531 measures have been introduced in 40 US states this year to restrict access to abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Last year, states passed more than 100 laws restricting access to abortion, a high since the ruling Roe v. wade.