Idaho Passes Texas Style Abortion Prevention Heartbeat Bill But Governor Has yet to Sign

Idaho’s Lt. Governor Janice McGeachin shared a legislative update on Wednesday. In her update shared on Facebook McGeachin highlighted the passage of S 1309, an amendment to the Fetal Heartbeat Preborn Child Protection Act. This now sits on the Governors desk awaiting his signature.

McGeachin summarises the bill in her post, “the Fetal Heartbeat Preborn Child Protection Act, has passed the Senate and will head to the Governor’s office for final consideration. This bill allows relatives of a pregnant mother to sue a medical provider who performs an abortion after cardiac activity is detected. The bill is modeled after a Texas abortion law and expands on Idaho’s Fetal Heartbeat Preborn Child Protection Act, which the Idaho Legislature passed via House Bill 366 in 2021.”

According to the text of the bill, it is actually relatives of the preborn child who are allowed to sue not just the mother. This allows the child’s, father (except in cases of rape and incest), aunts or uncles, grandparents as well as siblings with an option to sue for damages up to $20,000.

The statement of purpose for the bill reads, “This legislation amends the Fetal Heartbeat Preborn Child Protection Act to include a private enforcement mechanism allowing civil lawsuits against medical professionals who perform unlawful abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. Although life begins at conception, a detectable heartbeat is a key indicator of the existence of life.”

The amendment if it becomes ratified will allow civil suits to be brought against medical providers who perform abortions. This closely resembles the controversial bill passed in Texas.

The Supreme Court has heard arguments in an abortion case this session and is set to make a ruling that may overturn Roe v Wade. If this were to happen it would return the power back to the states to make decided how to handle abortion. With this many states have introduced and passed laws regarding abortion that either strengthen protection for preborn children or expand abortion rights.

In Maryland, two bills recently passed the house and have been sent to the senate that expand abortion right delegating funds ($3.5M) to training abortionists every year. The other bill is attempting to pass late-term abortion. In contrast, Texas State Representative Bryan Slaton (R) introduced a bill earlier this month that would make abortion punishable by the death penalty.

House Democrats attempted to codify abortions rights with legislation earlier this year. Their attempt failed to pass in the Senate with a vote of 46-48. This was the Democrat’s attempt to counter act the perceived verdict of the Supreme Court that has yet to be determined.

With Idaho following Texas, maybe more red states will follow with their own versions.