The Freedom From Religion Foundation is warning Idaho’s governor that it will call for a boycott of Idaho potatoes if a six-week-ban-and-bounty law is signed there.
Yesterday, Idaho became the first state to adopt a copycat measure that echoes the infamous Texas abortion law prohibiting the procedure at six weeks and providing for bounty hunting by private citizens. The Idaho bill says mothers, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles of the “preborn child,” as well as the prospective father, may sue anyone who aids or abets in an abortion, including physicians or Uber drivers. Unlike the Texas bill, the Idaho bill provides an exception for victims of rape or incest, but requires women to file a police report and show it to the abortion provider. (The Idaho bill bars rapists from suing if an abortion is performed.) In Idaho’s case, the bounty is up to $20,000. The bill is before Idaho’s governor, Brad Little, who previously signed a restrictive abortion law.
This action follows the Friday ruling by the Texas Supreme Court to uphold the draconian six-week abortion ban that has been in place in the state since Sept. 1. This ban includes the infamous abortion bounty hunting provision, whereby everyday citizens can sue individuals for up to $10,000 for “aiding and abetting” someone in procuring an abortion. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called the decision a “major victory,” while anti-abortion groups cheered it and called for other states to pass similar measures. Idaho sponsors of the ban that passed yesterday said they were encouraged by the Texas ruling a few days prior.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation will be calling for a boycott of Idaho potatoes if Little signs the new ban. The New York Times reports that Idaho’s attorney general, who is a Republican like Little, has issued a warning opinion that the measure will “likely be found to violate recognized constitutional rights.”
Unbelievably, a bill has also been recently introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives to make it a crime to help a woman get an abortion outside the state at any point in her pregnancy unless her life is endangered by continuing it. The bill would allow private citizens to enforce the ban via lawsuits “regardless of where the abortion is or will be performed.” Individuals could be sued if they provide information, transportation or funds to someone seeking an in-state or out-of-state abortion. The Los Angeles Times, in condemning the law in an editorial, notes that even “providing internet service that allows Missouri residents to access any website that encourages or facilitates efforts to obtain election abortions” would be banned.
As the LA Times notes, “giving private citizens the right to control — via lawsuits — the behavior of Missouri residents outside the state is absurd.”
“Absurd or not, these draconian, overreaching bills remain a huge threat, and must be condemned by thoughtful citizens everywhere,” says Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. “The religious zealots are in overdrive, and are demonstrating the extent of their tyrannical aims.”
There has never been a more dire need for the advocacy of reproductive rights. Thank you for being in this fight with us.