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Idaho Supreme Court temporarily blocks six-week abortion ban

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Supreme Court on Friday temporarily blocked a new state law that would ban abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy and allow enforcement through lawsuits.

Last month, Idaho became the first state to enact a law modeled after Texas law banning abortions after about six weeks. The Idaho high court’s decision in a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood means the new law will not go into effect as scheduled on April 22.

Republican Gov. Brad Little signed into law the measure that would have allowed people who would have been family members to sue a doctor who performs an abortion after heart activity is detected in an embryo. But when he signed it, Little said he was concerned about whether the law was constitutional.

The law would allow the father, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles of an “unborn child” to each sue an abortion provider for a minimum of $20,000 in damages in four years following the abortion. Rapists cannot sue under the law, but relatives of a rapist can.

Planned Parenthood of the Greater Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana and Kentucky had called the law unconstitutional.

The law was modeled after a Texas law that the U.S. Supreme Court allowed to remain in place until a legal challenge is decided on the merits. Texas law allows people to enforce the law instead of state officials who normally would. Texas law allows lawsuits against clinics, doctors and anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion that is not permitted by law.

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