Judge Strikes Down Idaho’s Ban On Abortions After 20 Weeks

In 2011, Idaho banned abortions after 20 weeks based on the medically unproven claim that at that point in gestation a fetus can feel pain. Back in December 2010, Jennie Linn McCormack purchased RU-486, the abortion pill, online and terminated her pregnancy at 20 or 21 weeks. McCormack was initially charged for breaking a 1972 Idaho law which said a woman couldn’t terminate her own pregnancy; the case against her was dismissed and she won a court order blocking the law from being enforced. She then took up the state’s ban on abortions after 20 weeks. 

On Wednesday, a federal judge struck down that law as well, ruling that its unconstitutional because it presents an undue burden on a woman to get an abortion. Judge B. Lynn Winmill also found it unconstitutional that RU-486 is criminalized in the state  and that second-trimester abortions are required to be performed in a hospital. All of these types of restrictive abortions laws are designed to make lots of hoops for both women and abortion providers to jump through. Indeed, McCormack, a single mother of three children, initially acquired RU-486 in the mail because she was unemployed couldn’t afford to travel and get child care to get a surgical abortion in person. You know, exactly the kind of person the government should force to feed and clothe another child.

This is an excellent victory for abortion rights in a week with otherwise crappy news.

[Huffington Post]

[Los Angeles Times]

Email me at [email protected] Follow me on Twitter.