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How the abortion hearing could impact Idahoans

A ruling from the Supreme Court is still months away and is expected in June of 2022
Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 5:50 PM MST
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Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about a 2018 Mississippi abortion law.

Now, Idaho waits in the balance as HB 366, a trigger bill outlawing abortions beyond six weeks could be activated depending on the decision from the nation’s highest court.

Here in the gem state, there have been two distinct feelings about what could come next. “For those of us who truly believe what is going on is wrong and that the state should get to set their own policy in this area, I think there is a definite level of excitement,” said Representative Megan Blanksma, HB 366′s house floor sponsor.

“After yesterday’s oral arguments, it’s pretty clear that we are entering the most dangerous time for abortion rights in decades,” said Mistie Dellicarpini-Tolman, Idaho State Director with Planned Parenthood.

There are three possible outcomes from the Supreme Court Hearing:

  • A stay, meaning Roe V. Wade is upheld meaning HB 366 is not triggered.
  • A reversal of the nearly five-decade-old precedent meaning HB 366 is triggered.
  • Or the Mississippi law is deemed legal without overturning Roe V. Wade.

According to legal experts, the latter is the most common, meaning states will be freer to decide about their state abortion policies, something Blanksma is firmly in favor of.

“It’s a state right that was taken away and we need to reinstitute the right of the state to determine this type of policy,” said Blanskma.

Idaho’s law does have an exemption for rape, incest, and medical emergencies written in the law.

KMVT asked Blanksma if they would have protections for those who report their sexual assaults and incest cases to police, as more than half of those cases go unreported, according to the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network.

“That’s not in the legislature that I sponsored, but I’m sure that is something that would be reviewed,” she said.

Those who oppose these bills outright argue making abortions illegal has proven in the past to not stop them from happening. “It’s just going to make them unsafe and there are going to be people dying because they’ll be accessing unsafe procedures,” said Dellicarpini-Tolman.

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