Idaho leaders react to Dobbs decision
By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports
Idaho elected officials and stakeholders are reacting to the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade with Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, released Friday.
Idaho Reports will update this post throughout the day as more statements come in.
Note: With the exception of Gov. Brad Little’s comments, all statements and press releases have been posted in the order received.
Idaho Gov. Brad Little
Gov. Little comments on SCOTUS overrule of Roe v. Wade
Boise, Idaho – 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.
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US Senator James Risch:
Risch Statement on Supreme Court Abortion Ruling
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho) made the following statement upon the Supreme Court’s final ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:
“Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided in 1973, resulting in the deaths of millions of unborn babies over nearly half a century. Today, the U.S. Supreme Court took a major step to right that wrong, ruling that the U.S. Constitution does not provide for a right to an abortion. The Court’s decision recognizes that states have an interest in protecting life at all stages of development by giving Americans the power to decide this matter at the state-level through their elected representatives.
“The most basic right we as humans have is the right to life. I have immense empathy for any expecting mother in difficult circumstances. As the greatest country in the history of human civilization, we should support those mothers to the best of our ability.”
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Idaho Democratic Party
Idaho Academy of Family Physicians
Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates and Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Indiana, Kentucky
Planned Parenthood Statement on Supreme Court Ruling
BOISE, ID — This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned nearly 50 years of precedent by eliminating the constitutional right to abortion, stripping people of the right to control their own bodies. In Idaho, the ruling set off Idaho’s full abortion ban, which will go into effect in 30 days and will ban all abortion in the state, with only limited exceptions. Planned Parenthood will continue to provide abortion care in Idaho as long as legally able.
The consequences of this devastating decision will fall largely on people who already face the greatest barriers to health care due to this country’s legacy of racism and discrimination, including Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, people with low incomes, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, and people living in rural areas.
“Make no mistake – this decision goes beyond abortion. This is about who has power over you, who has the authority to make decisions for you, and who can control your future,” said Jennifer M. Allen, CEO of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates. “This is a dark day for our country, but our fight is far from over. The people of Idaho should know that Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates will always fight for you, and we will not back down. Generations before us have fought tirelessly to gain and protect our rights. Now it’s our turn to pick up the mantle.”
Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai‘i, Indiana, Kentucky said, “It is my promise to every person in Idaho that Planned Parenthood will never back down. We will keep fighting with everything we’ve got to ensure that everyone can access the care you need to control your body and your life. I want to be clear: Planned Parenthood will always be here to help you get the care you need.”
Planned Parenthood is committed to helping Idahoans get the care they need. Anyone who needs care should go to abortionfinder.org or call 1-800-230-7526. Patient navigators are ready to help.
US Senator Mike Crapo
Idaho Republican Party
Today we celebrate 50 years of incredible effort to reverse a flawed 1973 ruling from an activist Supreme Court that violated states’ rights guaranteed by the 10th amendment. That power is now rightfully returned to the states.
Chairman Tom Luna said, “Today’s historic Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v Wade reaffirms the principle that all life is a precious gift from God and confirms the inalienable rights to “LIFE, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
The Idaho Republican Party unequivocally stands for life, and we commend Governor Little, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, our state legislature, and Republican leaders in Idaho for fighting to defend the right to life.
Chairman of the Idaho Republican Party
Congressman Russ Fulcher
Congressman Mike Simpson
Simpson Statement on SCOTUS Abortion Ruling
Washington, D.C. – Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson released the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization:
“With this historic decision, the Supreme Court affirms the right of the states to protect human life. This is the correct decision and I’m pleased that the Court has affirmed my longstanding position that Roe v. Wade was incorrectly decided as a political decision and not a legal one. Dobbs rights that wrong and returns the power to enact pro-life legislation to the people and their elected officials. There is no constitutional right to an abortion, and I’m relieved the Court has finally recognized that.
“As we move forward from this victory, we must remain vigilant to reject extreme, anti-life legislation that will surely be introduced in the wake of this decision. As a member of the House of Representatives, I will continue to guard against legislation that threatens the unborn and will use my voice to spread the pro-life message of hope that is so central to our movement.
“Additionally, we must not tolerate any threats to Supreme Court justices and their families in the coming days. When individuals choose violence and threats to express their policy disagreements, we are all less safe.”
Terri Pickens Manweiler, Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to revoke a woman’s right to make medical choices, in this case to choose to have an abortion, erodes the freedom of every American. This moment shakes up an Idaho political landscape that is dominated by Republican politicians who sacrifice personal freedom for political power.
“Republican politicians have taken away our choice to make personal medical decisions—in this case the right to abortion services—but women still have the choice of who to vote for,” said Lieutenant Governor candidate Terri Pickens Manweiler.
A strong majority of Americans, 62 percent according to a recent Quinnupiac survey, oppose the monumental decision to roll back a right that women have had for 50 years. In 2019, 65% of Idaho voters agreed women should have access to all reproductive health options, “including abortion.” This move from a Supreme Court stacked with extreme Republican appointees demonstrates a view of freedom that Americans find offensive.
“Republican politicians believe that you have the freedom to agree with them,” said Pickens Manweiler. “If you disagree with them, they take away that freedom and give it to the government.”
Pickens Manweiler said it’s painful to know her daughter has less freedom than she did growing up. But she believes that Idaho is about to learn how influential women can be when you target their freedom. In 1990, the Idaho Legislature sought to outlaw abortion. Then-Gov. Cecil Andrus vetoed the legislation and that year Democrats won big in the Legislature.
“After Gov. Andrus vetoed that abortion law, Idaho women, regardless of political affiliation, voted for candidates who respected them and who pledged to preserve and protect their reproductive freedoms,” Pickens Manweiler said. “The same will happen this year in Idaho and across the country.”
Within 30 days of the ruling, Idaho’s “trigger” law will effectively outlaw abortion.
Pickens Manweiler noted that, as bad as this is, it’s the tip of the iceberg when you consider freedoms that Republican politicians intend to roll back. They are taking decisions away from people and giving them to the government. They have made voting more difficult by pushing laws to limit absentee ballots. They pass laws to punish librarians as a way to ban books. They dictate what can and can’t be written in science textbooks. They attack teachers and seek to eradicate public schools altogether. And while they are at it, they refuse to speak out against violent extremists who threaten anyone in Idaho who disagrees with their narrow ideology.
Pickens Manweiler is passionate about protecting the freedoms of Idahoans. A fourth generation Idahoan from Pocatello, she has taught her children to value Idaho’s open spaces and to embrace the idea that everyone has a right to live free, with dignity, and the opportunity for success. She ran for Lieutenant Governor because the Republican politicians who control Idaho have abandoned the long-standing values that put freedom before personal political power.
Pickens Manweiler will talk straight, tell the truth, and stand up for our freedom.