State Legislature

Idaho State Senators gather in the Senate Chambers at the Idaho State Capitol, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019.

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BOISE — A bill to ban so-called “partial-birth abortions” except in the case of saving the mother’s life has passed the Idaho Senate on a 29-6 vote.

Bill sponsor Sen. Lori Den Hartog, R-Meridian, said SB 1049 will make Idaho law consistent with a federal ban enacted in 2003. To become law, the bill still needs House approval and the governor’s signature.

In the bill, “partial-birth abortion” refers to an abortion performed while the mother is in the process of delivering a living fetus. Sen. Maryanne Jordan, D-Boise, said the procedure has been banned for well over a decade. Jordan voted against the legislation.

All Senate Republicans and one Democrat, Sen. David Nelson of Moscow, voted for the bill, with the other six Democrats opposed.

Several Democratic senators, including Jordan, said they felt the legislation was unnecessary, as it is already enacted through federal law. Sen. Mary Souza, R-Coeur d’Alene, disagreed, and said she felt the bill was very necessary.

“I think it puts Idaho clearly on record for what we believe, and we believe in life,” Souza said.

Erin Bamer is the city of Nampa reporter. Contact her at 208-465-8193, or ebamer@idahopress.com. Follow on Twitter @ErinBamer.

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