Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Idaho Twenty-Week Ban Struck Down in Federal Court
The Associated Press is reporting that a federal judge in Idaho has struck down that state's 20-week abortion ban, which like other such bans is premised on the dubious theory that fetuses can perceive pain at this stage of pregnancy. I have not yet seen the opinion, but it appears based on the AP story that the judge included among his grounds that the legislature was motivated by an improper purpose in passing the law. If so, this would be a rare but welcome application of the largely dormant "purpose" prong of the Planned Parenthood v. Casey undue burden test, which provides that abortion restrictions are unconstitutional if they have the purpose or effect of placing an undue burden in the path of women seeking abortions.