Legislation that would ban abortions in Idaho after six weeks of pregnancy by allowing potential family members to sue a doctor who performs one headed to the governor on Monday. The state's House voted Monday to approve the legislation, which is modeledthat the U.S. Supreme Court has until a court challenge is decided on its merits.
Opponents of the bill have said it's unconstitutional, noting that it takes many women more than six weeks to know that they're pregnant.
Republican Gov. Brad Little last year signed a similar so-called "fetal heartbeat" measure into law. But that one would be enforced by the state and included a trigger provision requiring a favorable federal court ruling somewhere in the country, and that hasn't happened. The new proposed law has a Texas-style private enforcement mechanism that allows for civil lawsuits.
The proposed Idaho law allows the potential father, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles of a preborn child to sue an abortion provider for a minimum of $20,000 in damages within four years of the abortion.
Rapists couldn't file such a lawsuit, but a rapist's relatives could.
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