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Idaho Abortion Laws

Summary

Abortion is illegal in Idaho unless necessary to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest.

Introduction

The decision to get an abortion is a difficult one for the woman who finds herself with an unplanned pregnancy. Many individuals for religious or personal reasons either strongly oppose or strongly support abortion and reproductive rights. 

In 2020, Idaho enacted a "trigger ban." That statute criminalized virtually all abortions in Idaho (with exceptions for reported cases of rape or incest), to be effective 30 days after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision returning abortion regulation to the states. In 2021, Idaho enacted a "fetal heartbeat" law, which would allow certain civil actions against abortion providers who performed or attempted to perform an abortion after fetal cardiac activity can be detected (usually 5-6 weeks). On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court issued Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which overruled Roe v. Wade and returned the power to regulate, even prohibit, abortion to the states.

The Idaho Supreme Court upheld the trigger ban on January 5, 2023. The following table outlines the main abortion laws in Idaho in effect as of then.

Code Sections Idaho Code Title 18: Crimes and Punishments, Chapter 6: Abortion and Contraceptives (§ 18-622 - Trigger ban)
When is Abortion Legal? An abortion is illegal in Idaho unless necessary to save the life of the mother except in cases of rape or incest that has been reported to law enforcement.

What is the punishment for an illegal abortion?

A licensed medical provider who knowingly provides supplies, administers drugs, or uses instrument with intent to produce an abortion other than lawfully has committed a felony. A person without a license has committed this crime for any abortion or attempt.


 A woman who knowingly submits to or solicits an illegal abortion for herself is guilty of a felony and (i) shall be fined up to $5,000, and (ii) imprisoned from one (1) to five (5) years ( § 18-606(2))


A “partial birth abortion” is also unlawful except when necessary to save the life of the mother when it is physically endangered.

If you’ve been denied the right to an abortion in Idaho, you should speak with an experienced local health care or constitutional rights lawyer.

Note: State and federal laws change all the time, especially with the regularity of U.S. Supreme Court decisions on abortion. It’s best to contact an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify these reproductive rights laws.

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