The ruling is binding only in Idaho but could have a
persuasive effect in lawsuits challenging similar bans in other states like Arkansas or Arizona, where a suit is pending before the 9th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals.
Ten states in all have enacted fetal pain laws
since 2010, said Elizabeth Nash, a policy analyst with the Guttmacher
Institute, which supports abortion rights and tracks laws affecting
Nebraska was first, followed over the next few
years by Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas,
Louisiana and Oklahoma.
But only three states have had the laws legally
challenged. Eastern Idaho resident Jennie Linn McCormack was the first
to sue over the fetal pain law and other abortion restrictions after
Bannock County Prosecutor Mark Hiedeman charged her with a felony
because police said she obtained an illegal abortion. A lawsuit has been
brought in Georgia, as well; that case is still pending in the state
Idaho Sen. Chuck Winder, who led the legislative
push for the fetal pain law two years ago, said he and others would need
to closely study Winmill's ruling before deciding how the state should
"I'm very disappointed in the court in its decision
to overturn the right to protect a life and protect a life from the
pain of abortion," the Boise Republican said.
"It's as though legislatures all across the country
are saying, 'We don't really care. We're just going to do it anyway in
the face of the Constitution,'" Hearn said. "Thankfully Winmill put a
stop to that in Idaho."
Officials with the National Right to Life Committee
didn't return phone messages left by The Associated Press. And calls to
the cellphone of David Ripley, the leader of Idaho Chooses Life, were
Julie Rikelman, litigation director for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said her organization applauded Winmill's decision.
"For 40 years, the Supreme Court has consistently
held that women's right to make their own decisions about whether to
continue or end a pregnancy is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution," she
said in a statement. "Today's ruling has overturned a legislative
assault by politicians who seek to interfere with that decision and deny
women this fundamental right."
Copyright 2013 The
Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
A day after laying out his counterterrorism vision, President Barack Obama is addressing future military leaders who could help carry it out in a speech to U.S. Naval Academy graduates.More >>
With a growing sexual assault epidemic staining the military, President Barack Obama urged U.S. Naval Academy graduates Friday to remember their honor depends on what they do when nobody is looking and said the crime has "no...More >>
When President Barack Obama pushed his health care overhaul plan through Congress, he counted labor unions among his strongest supporters.More >>
Some labor unions that enthusiastically backed President Barack Obama's health care overhaul are now frustrated and angry, fearful that it will jeopardize benefits for millions of their members.More >>
China's state media says an envoy from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has warned there is no guarantee of peace on the Korean Peninsula, but also stressed that his country is willing to hold talks with all sides...More >>
A top North Korean envoy delivered a letter from leader Kim Jong Un to Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday and told him Pyongyang would take steps to rejoin stalled nuclear disarmament talks, in an apparent victory for...More >>
The Internal Revenue Service official who led the unit that targeted tea party groups and publicly disclosed the activity has been replaced, making her the third top IRS official moved aside since the episode was...More >>
The Internal Revenue Service official who led the unit that targeted tea party groups and publicly disclosed the activity has been replaced, making her the third top IRS official moved aside since the episode was revealed...More >>
TEL AVIV, Israel - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is harshly criticizing Iran's guardian council for eliminating hundreds of presidential candidates and, in his view, standing in the way of legitimate,...More >>
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry harshly criticized Iranian authorities on Friday for eliminating hundreds of presidential candidates, suggesting that Tehran is standing in the way of legitimate, representative democracy.More >>
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Israel's government should prevent further settlement construction, where possible, to help revitalize Middle East peace hopes.More >>
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Israel's government on Friday to prevent further settlement construction where possible to help revitalize Middle East peace hopes, but stressed that the Jewish state and...More >>
Forecasting the changing nature of threats against the U.S. for years to come, President Barack Obama says "America is at a crossroads." And so, too, is his presidency's counterterrorism policy, which has long...More >>
Forecasting the changing nature of threats against the U.S. for years to come, President Barack Obama says "America is at a crossroads." And so, too, is his presidency's counterterrorism policy, which has long struggled...More >>