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Lawmakers react to arguments in Idaho Supreme Court abortion case

Justices heard arguments on three Idaho abortion laws challenged by Planned Parenthood.

BOISE, Idaho — The Idaho Supreme Court heard arguments on Thursday for and against state abortion laws, including the so-called “trigger ban” that took effect in August.

That law made abortion a felony in Idaho, except in cases of rape and incest that are reported to police, and when a mother’s life is in danger.

Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle told KTVB Thursday afternoon they are satisfied with the arguments made in court.

“For the plaintiff side, I think it was very clearly expressed that the right to privacy is fundamental,” Democratic Senator Melissa Wintrow said. “It's one that in the state of Idaho, we have valued since statehood and before, and that right of privacy includes the right to choose when to procreate.”

Republican representative Megan Blanksma said she believes the pro-life stance was also communicated well, but some of their stances are still getting lost in translation.

“People are losing sight of the fact that a vast amount of Idahoans are not in favor of elective abortion,” she said. “This trigger bill, in particular, was created to try to prevent that. But that’s also why there are exceptions within the trigger bill.”

Critics of Idaho’s abortion laws, namely Planned Parenthood, that filed lawsuits against the state argue the three recently enacted abortion laws are not narrowly tailored and are too vague.

Blanksma said the legislature will most likely address those critics during the legislative session in January.

“We can review those [concerns] but understand that the legislature can't think of every possible scenario. And so, they craft legislation to the best of their ability to address the larger concern, and that's what was done there,” Blanksma said. “If we find places that we do need to tweak, I'm sure that the members will be interested in reviewing what those possible tweaks could be.”

Wintrow said that answer is not good enough.

“They've had plenty of time to get it right,” Wintrow said. “It wasn't about getting it right, ever. This was never about abortion. In fact, this is all about power and control of women's lives.”

There is no timeline for when the justices will release their decision. This case is separate from the federal lawsuit filed by the Department of Justice, which is still ongoing.

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