Planned Parenthood Files Lawsuit in Idaho to Block Unconstitutional, Texas-Style Copycat Abortion Ban
For Immediate Release: March 30, 2022
BOISE, ID — Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky filed a petition today in the Idaho Supreme Court to block Idaho’s copycat Texas-style abortion ban, which aims to prohibit abortion after approximately six weeks of pregnancy, before many people know they are pregnant. The abortion ban, S.B. 1309, set to go into effect on April 22, 30 days after Gov. Brad Little signed it into law, will also allow certain family members to sue abortion providers and collect a minimum $20,000 reward for a successful claim. Last week, Idaho became the first state in the nation to enact a law modeled after Texas’s abortion ban.
The abortion ban blatantly undermines patients’ right to privacy. It also improperly and illegally delegates law enforcement to private citizens, violating the separation of powers and allowing plaintiffs without injury to sue, in violation of the Idaho Constitution.
The constitutional violations in the law are so glaring that Idaho Governor Brad Little even stated that the law would be proven “unconstitutional and unwise” in a letter to the Idaho legislature notifying that he had nonetheless signed the bill.
Statement from Rebecca Gibron, interim CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky:
“This law is a cruel overreach by politicians so intent on controlling the lives of their constituents that they’re willing to compromise our constitutional rights and compromise our health and safety, all in order to ban abortion. By passing S.B. 1309, these politicians sold their souls to an extremist minority. I want to be clear: We will not allow them to take away our control over our own bodies. We will go to every length to restore Idahoans’ right to abortion.”
Statement from Caitlin Gustafson, MD, Family Medicine Physician:
“By passing this cruel abortion ban, Idaho lawmakers are deliberately making Idahoans’ health care decisions for them. They will be directly preventing physicians in Idaho from providing critical medical care that our patients need and that we have trained our entire careers to provide. This law eliminates personal freedom and places Idahoans’ health and future in the hands of politicians.”
Statement from Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“It should be clear to everyone that the Idaho state legislature intentionally abandoned the ordinary rule of law when they passed this six-week abortion ban. Then the governor joined their effort to deny his constituents their constitutional rights when he signed the abortion ban into law — despite his own acknowledgement that it was wrong. Unless this abortion ban is stopped, Idahoans will watch in real time as their government strips them of the very rights they were sworn to protect. Everyone deserves to make their own decisions about their bodies, families, and lives — and we’re going to keep fighting to make sure that is a reality.”
If allowed to take effect, the ban won’t just deny Idahoans their constitutional right to abortion in Idaho, but also effectively eliminate health care entirely for many residents who don’t have the money or time to travel out-of-state to obtain the care they need. Due to systemic discrimination and racism, which already places barriers to health care, this law will disproportionately affect the state’s Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, people with low incomes, and those in rural areas. The reality is that some pregnant people in Idaho will be forced to remain pregnant, even if the pregnancy is dangerous, or seek abortion outside the health care system.
Lawyers from the law firms WilmerHale and Bartlett French filed the petition on behalf of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky and Idaho provider Dr. Caitlin Gustafson.
Link to petition here.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable sexual and reproductive health care for all people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect, and without judgment, striving to create equitable access to health care. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable education and information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives. Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that supports the independently incorporated Planned Parenthood affiliates operating health centers across the U.S.
Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky (PPGNHAIK) is a leading sexual and reproductive health care provider and advocate. The organization operates 40 health centers in Alaska, Hawai‘i, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, and Western Washington and provides medical services and sexuality education for thousands of people each year. Planned Parenthood is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and relies heavily on charitable donations to ensure our patients' ability to determine their own destinies and receive the health care they need.