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Idaho responds to Planned Parenthood's abortion lawsuit targeting state's trigger law

The Office of Attorney General replied to Planned Parenthood on Wednesday where they said the clinic's requests should be "sought in the legislature or ballot box."

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho's Office of the Attorney General responded on Wednesday to Planned Parenthood's lawsuit challenging the state's trigger law and the request to expedite the lawsuit court hearings due to the upcoming ban on abortions in Idaho.

In the response, the state urged the court to deny even hearing the case as well as the request to expedite because "the proceedings are not ripe," meaning there is no reason to expedite since Idaho's 30-day abortion ban countdown has not gone into effect yet. 

According to the AG's office, the 30-day countdown starts when the U.S. Supreme Court files its decision, which is expected in mid to late July. 

"The remedy sought by petitioners should be sought in the legislature or the ballot box," the response, signed by Dayton P. Reed, said. 

The response also claims that there is no mention of abortion in the Idaho Constitution, which mimics the U.S Constitution.

The U.S Supreme Court ruling on June 24 against Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization effectively overturned nearly 50 years of precedent from Roe v. Wade, a 1973 landmark case that made abortion legal. 

The ruling places abortion laws back into the hands of each individual state, allowing Idaho's trigger law banning abortion to be able to go into effect this summer.

Planned Parenthood's lawsuit followed shortly after the SCOTUS ruling.

The abortion trigger law, making performing abortions a felony, was passed by Idaho State Legislature in 2020, with no exceptions to rape or incest unless a victim reports it to police.

The newly filed Planned Parenthood lawsuit claims that the ban violates Idahoans’ right to privacy and protection under the state constitution as well as their right to equality. Additionally, the lawsuit claims the ban’s terms are vague, making medical providers unable to know when they are permitted to provide care for patients, risking the health of Idahoans.

The motion to expedite the briefing was filed because "Petitioners, other medical professionals, and the citizens of Idaho, urgently need clarity from the Court on the constitutionality of the vague Total Abortion Ban."

The motion also asked for a writ of prohibition, meaning a "pause" on the abortion law until the lawsuit is resolved.

The state's response argued that the petitioners do not seek a valid writ, so the court lacks jurisdiction to even hear the prohibition at all.

"They envision the Court acting less like a court, and more like a legislature or executive officer, vetoing a law that has never been applied based on their opinions of what makes good public policy," the response said. "But this Court decides concrete legal disputes, not ideological disagreements."

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