Republican Rep. Heather Scott (R-Blanchard), who was joined by fellow Rep. John Green (R-Post Falls), released the draft of their “Idaho Abortion Human Rights Act” on Jan. 22.
According to the draft, the intent of the bill is to protect law enforcement and officials from being directed by federal orders to allow abortions.
“Idaho Code defines a fetus as a human and says killing a human is murder, abortion is in contradiction to the inalienable rights recognized in the Idaho Constitution, and the State of Idaho has the authority to nullify federal laws that allow abortion,” the draft bill reads.
Under Idaho code 32-102, an unborn child is considered a human being. It reads, “a child conceived, but not yet born, is to be deemed an existing person so far as may be necessary for its interests, in the event of its subsequent birth.”
Idaho Code 18-4001 defines murder as “the unlawful killing of a human being including, but not limited to, a human embryo or fetus, with malice aforethought or the intentional application of torture to a human being, which results in the death of a human being.” However, an exception to this code prevents the state from prosecuting a mother undergoing an abortion and the person conducting the procedure.
If the new bill is passed, this exception to murder would be repealed.
According to a press release, Scott and Green said that “by allowing legal access to abortion in Idaho statutes, Idaho is currently alienating what are supposed to be the inalienable rights of all persons in the jurisdiction of Idaho.”
These rights are prescribed in the state’s constitution, which says, “All men … have certain inalienable rights, among which are enjoying and defending life … and securing safety.”
“We either define life as a fetus, or we don’t,” Scott said, reported KSL.com. “A woman can go out of state if she needs an abortion. But we just wouldn’t do it in our state. We’ll protect life in our state.”
The bill has not yet been introduced, and the lawmakers are waiting to see which committee it would be referred to or whether it would get a hearing, reported Post Register.
If the proposed Idaho Abortion Human Rights Act passes, it would likely spark a number of legal actions against the state based on Roe v. Wade—the 1973 United States Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion. Green said he does not think the bill would go against the court ruling as “this is about enforcing Idaho’s statutes and Idaho’s sovereignty,” reported KSL.com.
The draft copy of the Idaho Abortion Human Rights Act was released on the same day a New York bill that allows mothers to abort their unborn child up until birth if her life or health is at stake was passed in the Democrat-dominated House and Senate and signed into law by the governor.
New York’s Reproductive Health Act (RHA) allows a mother to have an abortion if there is an absence of fetal vitality or the pregnancy is within 24 weeks from the start. It also allows abortion after the 24-week mark if a doctor acting on “good faith” determines that the abortion is necessary to protect the life or health of the mother. The term “health” was not defined in the new law.
The RHA also permits midwives and nurse practitioners to carry out medication abortions and allows physician assistants to perform some surgical abortions.
A White House petition urging the federal government to ask New York State to overturn the RHA was started a day after it was passed and has collected over 276,000 signatures, as of Jan. 31. The creator of the petition Anna Spiller vowed to not stop until she has collected one signature for every baby aborted last year.