Idaho House Passes 20 week Abortion Ban Based On Fetal Pain – Bill Goes To Governor

Modern science confirms that unborn children feel pain by at least the 20th week and probably earlier. Recognizing that science, the Idaho House has passed SB 1165 which bars abortions after the 20th week except to preserve the life of the mother. As a cosponsor of the bill, I pointed out that constitutional law is undecided on this issue, but that the US Supreme Court has recognized that at some point during the pregnancy the state’s interest in protecting the unborn overrides the mother’s right of privacy. Prior cases have focused on the issue of viability of the unborn child outside of the womb. That has generally been viewed as around 26 weeks, although medical advances have reduced that. The issue of pain experienced by the unborn has not been addressed as a factor, but has not been precluded. Justice Kennedy in one case stated that it is "inappropriate for the Judicial Branch to provide an exhaustive list of state interests implicated by abortion. The House vote was 54-14. The bill previously passed the Senate, and now goes to Governor Otter.

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