BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Supreme Court issued a stay on Idaho's new Texas-style law prohibiting abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected on April 8.
Senate Bill 1309 -- which was supposed to go into effect April 22 -- would allow some family members to sue an abortion provider for no less than $20,000 in civil damages in cases where an abortion is performed or attempted after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
The bill was brought forth by the Idaho Family Policy Center. A lawsuit, filed March 30 on behalf of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest and a Valley County doctor, asked the Idaho Supreme Court to review the law before it was scheduled to take effect.
Part of that filing included a request for an expedited process, which the court granted the next day, March 31. The reason for the expedited process; Planned Parenthood wants to get the new abortion law blocked before it goes into effect on April 22.
At the request of both the Attorney General's Office and Planned Parenthood, the Idaho Supreme Court issued a stay on implementation of the law to give both sides more time to prepare arguments.
On Monday, April 11, President and CEO of the Idaho Family Policy Center, Blaine Conzatti posted an article to the center's website.
"According to court documents, the Idaho Attorney General cut a deal with Planned Parenthood, in which both parties agreed to let the court temporarily block the law in exchange for slowing down the court proceedings," Conzatti wrote.
He claims Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden cut a deal with Planned Parenthood in exchange for slowing down the court proceedings.
"The Office of the Attorney General -- which is statutorily responsible for defending the law in court -- said the compromise was necessary because the process was moving too quickly for their team to mount an adequate legal defense," Conzatti wrote. "We disagree. The attorney general had ample time to put forward a robust legal defense in the weeks before the law was scheduled to go into effect."
On Wednesday, Wasden published a press release arguing Conzatti and the Idaho Family Policy Center's claim was false.
“Neither I, nor any representative of my office, made a deal with Planned Parenthood. Any suggestion to the contrary is categorically false," Wasden wrote. “As the Attorney General, my statutorily-mandated role as the state’s chief legal officer includes defense of state laws when they’re challenged in court. Upon the filing of the suit, my office began a vigorous defense of the new law. That defense continues today.”
Wasden said Conzatti has apologized since publishing the claim on April 11, but the Idaho Family Policy Center's web article remains on their website.
There is still no timeline for when the lawsuit will be heard in court.
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