For Immediate Release: Monday, March 21, 2022
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Lawmakers hostile to abortion in 20 states and counting have expressed an intent to introduce or introduced a bill patterned after Texas’ SB 8
Washington, DC — Today, Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) signed into law a ban on abortion at about six weeks of pregnancy, which is before many people even know they are pregnant, with a civil enforcement mechanism modeled after Texas’ SB 8. The ban, SB 1309, is scheduled to go into effect 30 days after being signed and is the first copycat bill enacted since SB 8 became law.
NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju released the following statement in response:
“The Supreme Court’s refusal to block Texas’ blatantly unconstitutional bounty-hunting scheme opened the door for anti-choice lawmakers in Idaho to adopt this cruel ban on abortion to enact in their own state. It’s no surprise that anti-choice lawmakers are moving to take advantage of what they see as a loophole to bypass the constitutional right to abortion for as long as it stands. There’s no doubt that this dystopian ban could shut off access to abortion care in Idaho, and its consequences will reverberate throughout the rest of the nation. It’s clear that anti-choice lawmakers across the country are more emboldened than ever in advancing their draconian attacks on abortion rights and access—no matter the costs to our freedoms and families.”
In Idaho and across the country, anti-choice lawmakers are ramping up their attacks on reproductive freedom—including by pushing for bans on abortion at six weeks modeled after Texas’ unprecedented vigilante-enforced ban. For more than six months, Texas’ SB 8 has made abortion nearly impossible to access in the state and forced Texans to travel great distances to other states for abortion care, seek care outside of the healthcare system, or be blocked from accessing it entirely. Knowing that the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly refused to intervene and stop this ban, state lawmakers hostile to abortion across the country are seeking to use SB 8 as a blueprint to undermine abortion rights and access in their own states. The effects of this ban will fall hardest on Idahoans who already face the greatest barriers to accessing care, including Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color; those with low incomes; and people living in rural areas. So far, politicians in 20 states and counting have introduced or expressed an intent to introduce a bill patterned after Texas’ ban.
The fight for reproductive freedom faces a pivotal moment as the anti-choice supermajority on the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hand down a decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization—a case regarding Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban that directly challenges Roe v. Wade. If Roe fell tomorrow, 28 states are likely to take action to prohibit abortion outright. Of those, 13 states—including Idaho—already have “trigger bans” in place which would ban abortion automatically.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.