Court Questions Validity Of Abortion Law Used To Charge Idaho Woman

Sep 12, 2012

A federal ruling out Tuesday will prevent further prosecution, for now, against an Idaho woman charged with having an illegal abortion. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals also questioned the constitutionality of the anti-abortion law Jennie Linn McCormack was charged with violating.

In 2010, McCormack, of Pocatello got the so-called “abortion pill” off the Internet and ended an almost 20-week pregnancy. After police discovered the fetus, she was charged under a 1972 law that makes it a felony for a woman to induce her own abortion.

McCormack’s attorney Rick Hearn says the law effectively makes the use of RU-486 - at any stage of pregnancy - a criminal offense for Idaho women. The court seemed to agree the law is invalid.

“It’s very good news. It’s not a final decision. But it’s pretty good,” Hearn says.

McCormack is also challenging Idaho’s more recent Fetal Pain Law, which passed last year in a half-dozen states. The federal court said McCormack does not have legal standing to make a case against law. But her attorney is already taking a separate tact. As a licensed doctor, he’s entered himself as a plaintiff in a constitutional challenge of the law that bans physicians from performing abortions after 20 weeks.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network