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Idaho Abortion Law Partially Blocked by Federal Judge. Here’s Why


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THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE had sued the State of Idaho over its new abortion law and, in the last few hours, a ruling by District Judge B. Lynn Winmill blocked a portion of the text, delivering a half-hearted victory for the Biden administration. The federal judge ruled that the law conflicted with federal law.

About a month ago, the DOJ, led by Merrick Garland, sued the state primarily over a portion of the rule, which did not prohibit doctors from being sued for performing an abortion to protect a woman’s health.

The law goes into effect Thursday, August 25, and prohibits abortions after six weeks, with exceptions in cases of rape, incest or when the woman’s life is in danger. The legislation had been drafted since before the Supreme Court overturned the precedents of Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

Judge Winmill’s ruling came down last Wednesday night and was based on a federal law that requires federally funded Medicare hospitals to provide medical care when a person’s life or health is at stake.

“It’s not about the bygone constitutional right to an abortion. This Court is not grappling with that larger, more profound question. Rather, the Court is called upon to address a far more modest issue — whether Idaho’s criminal abortion statute conflicts with a small but important corner of federal legislation. It does”, Judge Winmill ruled.

With many states passing restrictive anti-abortion laws, it is expected that the issue highlighted by Winmill will continue to be challenged at the federal level and even in the U.S. Supreme Court.

However, in the case of Idaho, its law will remain virtually intact and went into effect as of this Thursday, August 25. Winmill himself, appointed to the federal court by President Bill Clinton in 1995, acknowledged that the case was limited in scope and only dealt with pregnancies that posed a significant risk to a woman’s health.

Joaquín Núñez es licenciado en comunicación periodística por la Universidad Católica Argentina. Se especializa en el escenario internacional y en la política nacional norteamericana. Confeso hincha de Racing Club de Avellaneda. Contacto: [email protected] // Joaquín Núñez has a degree in journalistic communication from the Universidad Católica Argentina. He specializes in the international scene and national American politics. Confessed fan of Racing Club of Avellaneda. Contact: [email protected]

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