Samuel Case, FISM News
Yesterday two state Supreme Courts issued opposite rulings on the legality of abortion bans, further revealing that the fight for life has shifted from federal to state legislation in the wake of the landmark Dobbs ruling.
Idaho’s Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the state’s abortion ban, saying that the state constitution does not contain a right to abortion.
The 3-2 decision dismissed a lawsuit brought by Planned Parenthood against the state and upheld Idaho’s near-total ban on abortion, which makes the procedure a felony except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is in danger.
“What Petitioners are asking this Court to ultimately do is to declare a right to abortion under the Idaho Constitution when—on its face—there is none,” Justice Robyn Brody wrote in the majority opinion.
“In fact, before Roe announced a federal constitutional right to abortion in 1973, abortion had been a long-standing criminal offense in Idaho,” he added.
Last August, the Department of Justice brought a lawsuit against the state of Idaho, claiming the abortion ban may violate the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act.
Hours earlier on Thursday, South Carolina’s Supreme Court ruled in the opposite direction – concluding the state’s six-week abortion ban was unconstitutional for violating the right to privacy – siding with abortion providers challenging the law. The state’s abortion limit will now be set at 22 weeks.
“We hold that our state constitutional right to privacy extends to a woman’s decision to have an abortion,” Justice Kaye Hearn wrote in the 3-2 ruling.
In his dissent, Justice George James Jr. argued the right to privacy “does not extend beyond the context of searches and seizures,” and is not applicable to the abortion debate.
South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson said that he and his office “respectfully, but strongly, disagree with the Court’s ruling,” and said he will be working with Governor Henry McMaster to review their legal options.