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Idaho lawmakers intervene in lawsuit against abortion ban

The law had been scheduled to take effect Friday but has been temporarily blocked by the court following a lawsuit by a regional Planned Parenthood organization.

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Supreme Court is allowing state lawmakers to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a law they passed earlier this year that would ban abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. 

The court on Monday approved a request by Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke, Republican Senate President Pro-Tem Chuck Winder and the Legislature to take part in the case. 

"We just felt like there are times when the legislature needs to be more directly involved, because we are the makers of the law, that we would really be able to bring a case and bring the presentation that the legislature feels is appropriate," Winder said.

The law is modeled after a Texas law that is enforced through lawsuits to avoid constitutional court challenges. 

The law had been scheduled to take effect Friday but has been temporarily blocked by the court following a lawsuit by a regional Planned Parenthood organization.

KTVB's Brian Holmes asked Winder Wednesday, "what do you say to people who say, 'isn't this what we pay the AG's office to do, to defend these cases?"

"Well, of course they do and they will defend it and they'll defend it with the best people they have, but I also think that sometimes in the case where we get into real specific law that doesn't occur that often, it's good to have outside counsel," Winder said.

Winder told KTVB the Idaho Legislature hired Danny Bower and Monte Stewart with the Stewart Taylor & Morris Law Firm. They will be paid through the constitutional defense fund and the legislative legal defense fund, both of which lawmakers reload every legislative session with millions of dollars. 

There is still no court date set with the Idaho Supreme Court.

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