Idaho Reacts To Supreme Court Abortion Law Decision

Jun 28, 2016

The Supreme Court’s decision Monday to strike down a Texas abortion restriction law could have ripple effects in Idaho, where pro-choice advocates are cheering. In a 5-3 ruling, the justices overturned a Texas law requiring surgical facilities in abortion clinics, while also requiring clinic doctors have admitting privileges at local hospitals.

To Hannah Brass Greer of Planned Parenthood in Boise, the decision to throw out these measures sets a good precedent for states like Idaho.

“I think the Supreme Court decision is fantastic and I’m thrilled, but it is a start," says Brass Greer. "It does not automatically erase the damage that’s been done in the last decade or more.”

In 2015, a bill similar to one part of the Texas law came up during Idaho’s legislative session. But Brass Greer says the bill stalled, in part because of public push back. Brass Greer lobbies lawmakers for Planned Parenthood and says that in the last four years, she’s seen an increase in pro-choice advocacy in Idaho.

But to David Ripley of the group Idaho Chooses Life, the Supreme Court decision goes against the values of most Idahoans. He says the Texas laws were a model for pro-life legislatures around the country, and it will now be difficult to pass similar laws in Idaho.

“I think this was a victory for Planned Parenthood profits," says Ripley, "and a setback for making sure that women and girls are taken care of.”

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood continues its challenge to a different Idaho law that requires doctors to conduct an in-person exam before prescribing pregnancy-ending medicine. The lawsuit was filed in December 2015, and is being argued in federal court.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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