Idaho Doctors can Refer Patients for Out-Of-State Abortions, Judge Rules

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The Facts

  • On Monday, a US federal judge blocked the Idaho Attorney General's Office from prosecuting doctors for referring patients to receive out of state abortions, claiming that doing so would violate medical providers’ right to free speech.

  • US District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill found that Republican AG Raúl Labrador went too far in his interpretation of Idaho's criminal abortion law and banned him from enforcing it until a legal challenge to the law is settled in court.


The Spin

Democratic narrative

This law was a disturbing violation of medical providers' first amendment right to freedom of speech and a ridiculous attempt at extending Idaho law beyond the state's borders. It never should have been permitted to begin with. This ruling sends a clear message to lawmakers in Idaho and across the country that this sort of unconstitutional overreach is unacceptable.

Republican narrative

Labrador's opinion was never meant to become law enforcement guidance, being promptly withdrawn after it was wrongfully made public. This preliminary injunction is extremely disappointing and nonsensical, as the Bill Clinton-appointed Judge Winmill is seeking to restrain a power that the AG's office doesn't have.


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