By Elise Viebeck - 09/11/12 11:19 PM EDT
The decision's mixed result favors both anti-abortion and abortion-rights activists. It means Idaho's fetal-pain law will stand, for now, but showed weakness in the rule that women must seek medical help in ending their pregnancies.
"This Idaho statue heaps yet another substantial obstacle in the already overburdened path that McCormack and pregnant women like her face when deciding whether to obtain an abortion," the appellate judges wrote.
Fetal-pain bills have passed in many states and received votes in the GOP-led House. Their premise — that pre-viable fetuses can feel pain after 20 weeks — is disputed.
The Idaho case will now return to a lower court.