Following Idaho's passing of a law that bans abortions past six weeks with minimal exceptions, the Biden administration has vowed Wednesday to ban bills such as this, and to uphold Roe v. Wade. Last week, Idaho was the first state to pass a six-week ban into law very similar in wording to legislation passed in Texas.
The bill amends one passed in 2021, The Fetal Heartbeat Preborn Child Protection Act, to expand upon its penalties for violations and civil causes of action sections.
The Idaho bill allows mothers, fathers, and family members to file civil actions to collect damages associated with receiving an abortion.
Damages in the total of $20,000 can be sought from medical professionals that attempted or performed abortions. These civil actions can be brought against abortion providers up to four years from the date it was attempted or induced.
Idaho's bill states that abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected would be banned, which usually occurs around six weeks of pregnancy.
Exceptions are made for medical emergencies, rape, and incest. Those seeking abortions under the latter circumstances would be required to file a police report, and bring this report to their provider's office prior to the procedure.
"We knew that when Texas passed SB8, its extreme law that blatantly violates the constitutional right reaffirmed by Roe v. Wade, it would invite other states to follow," wrote White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday.
"Today, Idaho became the first state to adopt a similar law – a six-week restriction relying on private citizens to enforce the law. This development is devastating for women in Idaho, as it will further impede women’s access to health care, especially those on low incomes and living in rural communities," she added.
Psaki noted that after Texas' SB8 was signed into law six months ago, women have traveled "hundreds of miles to access care," and that clinics in neighboring states have seen "significant increase in demand since the law went into effect."
"This is unacceptable, which is why President Biden directed a whole of government response to protect women's rights that are currently under attack," Psaki wrote.
"The Biden-Harris Administration will continue to stand with women and support their right to make their own health care decisions, a constitutional right that Roe v. Wade reaffirmed nearly five decades ago. And the President again calls on Congress to act and send a bill to his desk to shut down these radical steps," she concluded.
According to Business Insider, the Supreme Court is set to rule on whether or not to uphold Roe v. Wade this summer as it considers a case related to Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban.
12 states so far have enacted "trigger laws," that would come into effect if the Supreme Court decides to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Recently, Arizona and Florida both advanced bills banning abortions past the first semester through their legislative chambers.
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