(Governor’s Office Press Release, June 24, 2022)
BOISE, ID-– Governor Brad Little commented today on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
“I join many in Idaho and across the country today in welcoming the high court’s long awaited decision upholding state sovereignty and protecting preborn lives. The decision provides clarity around landmark cases at the center of passionate debate in our country for nearly five decades. This is now clear – the ‘right’ to an abortion was a judicial creation. Abortion is not a right expressed in the U.S. Constitution, and abortion will be entrusted to the states and their people to regulate.
“Idaho has been at the forefront of enacting new laws to protect preborn babies. The pro-life bill I signed into law in 2020 will go into effect later this summer.
“Today’s decision is the culmination of pro-life efforts to defend the defenseless – preborn babies who deserve protection. It also is affirmation of states’ rights, a fundamental aspect of our American government.
“However, we fully acknowledge this monumental moment in our country’s history means we must confront what know will be growing needs for women and families in the months and years ahead. We absolutely must come together like never before to support women and teens facing unexpected or unwanted pregnancies. Families, churches, charities, and local and state government must stand ready to lift them up and help them and their families with access to adoption services, healthcare, financial and food assistance, counseling and treatment, and family planning. We are being called to support women and our fellow community members in extraordinary new ways, and I’m confident Idahoans are ready to meet this responsibility with love and compassion,” Governor Little said.
In July of 2021, Governor Little joined 10 other governors in submitting an amicus brief in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The case centered around a 2018 Mississippi law prohibiting abortions after 15 weeks except in medical emergencies or severe fetal abnormality. Lower courts held that Mississippi’s law violated the holdings in Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), in which non-elected justices recognized a right to abortion, contrary to the text and original meaning of the Constitution. The SCOTUS decision today rejects the lower courts’ rulings and holds that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden also joined more than 20 other attorneys general in a similar amicus brief.
In 2020, Governor Little signed Senate Bill 1385 prohibiting abortion in Idaho except when necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman or when the pregnancy is the result of incest or rape. The prohibition, however, did not become law when signed. Rather, the bill contained a provision – commonly referred to as a “trigger” – stating that the prohibition will not take effect until 30 days after SCOTUS issues judgment in a case that “restores to the states their authority to prohibit abortion.”
There were 1,680 induced abortions in Idaho in 2020. The Idaho Care Line, 2-1-1, is a resource available to all Idahoans directing them to a variety of resources that support individuals and families.