Idaho GOP’s anti-abortion platform makes no exception for saving a mother’s life

Idaho Republicans declare abortion is murder from fertilization as anti-abortion lawmakers across US push severe restrictions after end of Roe v Wade

Alex Woodward
New York
Monday 18 July 2022 14:54 BST
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Idaho Republicans have declared abortion is “murder from the moment of fertilization” and would make no exceptions even to save the life of the mother, according to the state party’s platform.

Republicans at the state’s GOP convention this weekend rejected an amendment to their official party platform that would have provided an exception for a pregnant person to save their life. The platform also makes no exceptions for rape or incest.

Delegates voted against the amendment in the platform – which is used to direct policy within the state’s GOP-controlled legislature – by a vote of 412-164.

The state’s so-called “trigger” law, which passed in 2020 and is designed to take effect after the US Supreme Court struck down the constitutional right to abortion, would outlaw nearly all abortions, with exceptions for pregnancies from rape or incest only if such crimes were reported to law enforcement.

Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky and an abortion provider in the state have sued to block the law. A hearing in that case is set for 3 August.

Scott Herndon, a Republican candidate running for a state Senate seat, argued against the exception, telling delegates that “for the last 49 years we have essentially lost the argument in the culture because we have focused on abortion as the termination of a pregnancy and not the termination of a living human being.”

“We will never win this human rights issue, the greatest of our time, if we make allowances for the intentional killing of another human being,” he said, according to the Idaho Capital Sun.

In a Facebook video following the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v Jackson Women’ss Health Organization, Mr Herndon criticised rape and incest exemptions in the state’s anti-abortion law, saying that “you don’t put to death the innocent child for the crime of its father, but that’s what this law would allow.”

At least nine states – Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, and Wisconsin – have outlawed abortion entirely in nearly all instances following the Supreme Court’s decision on 24 June to strike down the half-century precedent in Roe v Wade.

As many as 26 states could outlaw abortion without protections affirmed under Roe. Republican-led state legislatures are poised to draft more-restrictive laws in the coming weeks and months.

Anti-abortion laws in at least 10 states – Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas – make no exceptions for pregnancies from rape or incest.

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