Topline

Planned Parenthood sued the state of Idaho Wednesday in an effort to block its near-total ban on abortion before it takes effect in April—but the law is based on Texas’ controversial policy that courts have repeatedly upheld, so it’s unclear whether the challenge will be successful.

Key Facts

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Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky and an Idaho doctor asked the Idaho Supreme Court to strike down SB 1309, which was signed into law last week and is set to take effect on April 22.

The law bans all abortions after approximately six weeks of pregnancy—except in cases of rape, incest or medical emergencies—and is enforced not by public officials, but by family members of the fetus suing doctors if they perform the procedure, for which the plaintiffs can get at least $20,000 in damages.

The law copies Texas’ Senate Bill 8 (SB 8), which has been in effect since September 1 and is similarly enforced through private lawsuits against anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion in the state.

Planned Parenthood argues “the bill’s flaws are flagrant and many” and SB 1309 violates numerous provisions of the Idaho Constitution, including its rights to privacy, equal protection clause, due process clause and separation of powers.

The lawsuit also points out Idaho leaders likely agree SB 1309 is unlawful: the state Attorney General’s office informed the legislature the bill was “likely unconstitutional” before they passed it anyway, and Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) said upon signing the law its “novel enforcement mechanism will in short order be proven unconstitutional and unwise.”

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s office has not yet responded to a request for comment.