Justice Dept. Sues Idaho Over Abortion Ban

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The Facts

  • The Biden admin. on Tues. filed a lawsuit against Idaho for its near-total abortion ban, set to take effect later this month. According to the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) the ban would make it nearly impossible to receive even a potentially life-saving abortion in certain emergency medical situations. This is the first such challenge to an abortion ban since SCOTUS overturned Roe v. Wade.

  • Idaho's trigger law, which was passed in 2020 in anticipation of the reversal of Roe, would make providing abortions a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. It does include exceptions for cases of rape or incest, or to protect the life of the pregnant woman in cases of medical complications, but the DOJ says these are too narrow.


The Spin

Republican narrative

SCOTUS has made it clear that states have the constitutional right to determine the legality of abortion and that is what's happening in Idaho. The DOJ's interference with state law is another example of Biden overreaching his powers and undermining federalism, while continuing to ignore issues that really should demand his attention like immigration and inflation.

Democratic narrative

The Idaho abortion ban conflicts with federal law and puts ideology above patient safety. Reproductive freedom is a fundamental right and Idaho's restrictive law is a dangerous display of control. Abortion should not be criminalized.


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