State Watch

Idaho governor signs bill banning abortions after fetal heartbeat detected

Idaho governor signs bill banning abortions after fetal heartbeat detected

Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) signed a bill into law on Tuesday that bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, making the state the latest to restrict access to the medical procedure.

The bill, dubbed the Fetal Heartbeat Preborn Child Protection Act, prohibits medical providers from performing abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The legislation includes three exceptions to the ban: rape, incest and medical emergency. 

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“Idaho is a state that values the most innocent of all lives - the lives of babies. We should never relent in our efforts to protect the lives of the preborn,” Little said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Hundreds and hundreds of babies lose their lives every year in Idaho due to abortion, an absolute tragedy. I appreciate Idaho lawmakers for continuing to protect lives by passing this important legislation, and I am proud to sign the bill into law today,” Little added.

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Licensed health care providers who perform abortions in violation of the bill will be charged with a felony punishable by a prison sentence of two to five years, according to the legislation.

Additionally, providers who perform "criminal abortions" will have their professional licenses suspended.

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The Idaho state Senate passed the bill in a 25-7 vote on April 21, days after the legislation cleared the state House in a 53-16 vote.

On Monday, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed three abortion-related bills, including one that said doctors who perform the medical procedure after a fetal heartbeat is detected could be found guilty of homicide.

The Oklahoma legislation, however, includes an exception if the procedure is performed to save the life of the mother or to "avert serious risk" of physical impairment, not "including psychological or emotional conditions."