Are women’s bodies private property? In Idaho, apparently they are

Governor Brad Little signed SB1309, banning all abortions after six weeks’ gestational age – and it is enforced not through state action, but private lawsuits

Moira Donegan, The Guardian
Fri 25 Mar 2022

If there was any doubt that Roe v Wade has been nullified, Idaho’s governor, Brad Little, put an end to it on Wednesday, when he signed SB1309, known officially as the Fetal Heartbeat Preborn Child Protection Act, into law. Like Texas’ SB8, Idaho’s new law bans all abortions after six weeks’ gestational age, in plain violation of Roe. But like SB8, the law may well be able to go into effect as scheduled next month, because it is enforced not through state action, but through private lawsuits.

The supreme court is likely to overturn Roe this summer anyway, in the widely anticipated Dobbs v Jackson ruling. But almost all abortions have been illegal in Texas since September, when the court gave its blessing to SB8’s private enforcement provision and allowed the law to go into effect. Since the court gave the nod to SB8, other Republican-controlled states have rushed to pass copycat bills, eager to outlaw abortion within their borders even before the downfall of Roe in a few months.