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Idaho Supreme Court upholds abortion ban

caption: The Idaho State Capitol building in Boise.
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The Idaho State Capitol building in Boise.
Colleen Benelli / Flickr

The Idaho Supreme Court has upheld the state’s near-total abortion ban with a 5-2 decision this week. It's a decision that could affect reproductive health care providers in Washington state, where abortion rights are protected.

In her majority opinion, Idaho Supreme Court Justice Robyn Brody argued that there is no right to access abortion in the Idaho State Constitution and the state’s founders never intended for abortion to be protected.

The court also upheld a law that allowed family members of the fetus to enforce the ban by suing the medical provider for a minimum of $20,000.

Paul Dillon, the vice president of public affairs of Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho, says said clinics are prepared to care for patients who have to travel.

“It’s really important to remember that even though these bans remain in effect in Idaho, patients still have options to access the care that they need," Dillon said. "And we can see patients who are traveling, and we will continue to do so and will never stop fighting for a person's ability to control their own life and their future.”

Idaho’s legislation only allows for exceptions if the life of the mother is in danger, or if a rape has been reported to the police and the victim has a copy of that report.

In a statement Thursday, Idaho GOP Chairwoman Dorothy Moon praised the state’s Supreme Court and called on the public to “remain vigilant in defending life.”

Read Rebecca White's full reporting on this story at Spokane Public Radio.

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