Last week in Idaho a near total ban on abortions kicked in. Similar bans were in effect in Texas, Tennessee, and other states.
Idaho is the westernmost state that has accepted the extremist bans currently affecting much of the South and Midwest U.S. states. Its ban is based upon a trigger law that was passed several years back and intended for it to kick in as soon a possible. Roe was overturned and allows exceptions to be made in the case of rape or incest. But the penalties it imposes on doctors who perform abortion — five years in prison — are so severe that it’s hard to see how more than a handful will be willing to take the chance. The state’s language was so vague that even though their lives were at stake, the Justice Department sued it. On August 24, a judge blocked the provider-punishment part of the law from taking effect.
Another law, which Idaho’s courts have allowed to stand, is allows the “relatives” of an aborted fetus to sue abortion providers for up to $20,000. While it doesn’t allow rapists to sue, its language, supported by 51 out of 65 representativesThe statehouse is sufficiently broad to allow for the FamiliesThe rapist can sue anyone who assisted in the aborting of the fetus. If one were deliberately trying to craft a law offensive to every concept of an individual’s dignity, one couldn’t do better than this heinous piece of legislation, which gives the families of rapists more control over the reproductive rights of the victim than has the victim themself.
Idaho is also a great place to live. state legislature has repeatedly shot down laws making it easier to access contraception. And, because of the vastness of rural Idaho’s terrain, in many parts of the state residents are at least a five-hour driveYou can find abortion clinics nearby, such as Oregon.
Idaho, with its long and radical history in union organizing in the late 19th- and early 20th centuries, was remade in recent decades as a hub of far right, know nothing politics. Its vast wilderness areas have provided refuge for a variety of wildlife. white supremacist and militia organizationsA number of its political leaders, including the Aryan Nation in the early 1990s and some of its leaders, have made a name for their hard-right ideologies. In fact, current Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachinA featured speaker at a white nationist event earlier in the year. Far right icon Ammon Bundy lives in Idaho. Minimum one member of the state legislature is a member of the Oath Keepers, and state officials such McGeachin are well-established rapport with various militia groups. Idaho is growing in popularity. realtors aim their advertisements at conservatives from blue states and citiesYou are looking to relocate to a reliable right-wing area of the country.
However, the ban on abortion could cause chaos in state politics in unanticipated ways. Despite this, the number of abortions in the state has dropped significantly since it peaked in the early 1980sIt is still a common procedure, even though it was banned.
Three years ago, a poll showed that 65 percent of Idahoans supported access to all forms of reproductive careAll of them, even abortion. However, when abortion itself was the central focus of polling, the state’s populace responded in a more conservative manner. Recent New York Times pollingIt was found that only 43% of Idahoans want abortion to remain legal, and 50% want it to be completely illegal.
True, that means more Idahoans are opposed to abortion than want to keep it legal, but it’s hardly the overwhelming mandate one might expect in a state where only 14 percent of registered voters are registered as DemocratsWhere and when Donald Trump got nearly 64 percent of the vote in 2020.
And it’s in these numbers that political calculi get scrambled.
Since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs U.S. Supreme Court decision to repeal the right of abortion women have been registering to vote at far higher rates than have men. Sixty percent tell pollsters that they are now being denied abortion access because of the limited access. more motivated to voteIn the midterms.
Idaho, 55 percentWomen have accounted for over half of all newly registered voters this summer. That’s high, but not as high as in Kansas, where 7 out of 10 newly registered voters are women — which likely had something to do with the huge majority that abortion rights advocates secured in the state’s election on whether or not the procedure should remain legal.
Kansas’s demographic isn’t that different from Idaho’s; it is disproportionately white and religiously conservative, and it has far more registered Republicans than Democrats. It also has a long history in radical and progressive politics that is hidden deep under its Republican veneer. This goes back to the 19th Century. Kansas was home to some of the most conservative and conservative rural counties. They voted to preserve abortion access. And it’s certainly possible that, if abortion were put to the vote in Idaho, with women flexing their political muscle and registering to vote in high numbers, similar surprises could unfold. It’s also possible that, with voter turnout likely to be higher in November than in many recent midterms (as evidenced by a high primaries turnoutThis year, and with the issue abortion driving many voters to polls, more moderate voices in Idaho will begin to gain electoral traction.
Abortion providers are trying to establish their offices as close as possible to the Idaho state line, particularly in Oregon and Washington. That won’t undo the damage caused by Idaho’s battery of cruel laws now banning abortion and restricting rights, but it will at least allow some options in the face of draconian judicial and governmental overreach into how people live their lives.