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Idaho Passes Bill Modeled After Texas Heartbeat Law, Restricting Abortions After 6 Weeks

03-15-2022

Lawmakers in Idaho passed a bill Monday aimed at restricting abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

It would allow family members to sue a doctor who performs the abortion for a minimum of $20,000 in damages within four years of the procedure.

The Idaho House overwhelmingly approved the bill by a 51 to 14 vote with no Democratic support. 

The Idaho Senate has already passed the bill which now goes to Gov. Brad Little (R-ID) for his signature.

Little hasn't said if he will sign it, but he did sign a similar abortion bill last year.

The measure is modeled after the Texas heartbeat abortion law, which took effect Sept. 1 and is considered the nation's toughest abortion restriction.

It blocks abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can happen as early as six weeks of pregnancy when the unborn person's heartbeat can be distinguished from her mother's separate heartbeat. 

Opponents of the Idaho legislation said it's unconstitutional and is a violation of women's rights. 

Republican Rep. Steven Harris, the bill's sponsor, disagrees.

"This bill makes sure that the people of Idaho can stand up for our values and do everything in our power to prevent the wanton destruction of innocent human life," he said in a statement after the vote.  

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