BOISE, Idaho — More than 100 Idahoans marched through the streets of Boise to protest against the state’s abortion laws that restrict accessibility.
The Idaho State Supreme Court announced Friday they will not continue to play a stay – effectively a pause – on Idaho’s abortion laws while Planned Parenthood challenges the legality of the same laws in court.
It’s a moment in history Kathryn McLaughlin has already seen.
“I did. 50 years ago,” McLaughlin told KTVB just before the march. “I was over there on Main Street marching with my sign.”
The marchers said they oppose Idaho’s abortion laws for personal, emotional, and even religious reasons.
Michal Voloshen attended the march; she’s Jewish.
“It’s against my religion to say abortion is illegal,” Voloshen said. “We're just going backwards. It worries me that women whose lives are in danger might not get the care they need, because it has to go through the courts first.”
Idaho’s abortion laws do provide exceptions for abortion including a case of rape, incest, or to save the mothers life. However, healthcare providers have told KTVB there is gray area in determining what qualifies as an exemption. That makes them hesitant to provide any abortion procedure in the first place.
“The men who are making these laws obviously have no idea what they are talking about,” Voloshen said.
Blaine Conzatti is the president of the Idaho Family Policy Center. He wrote the six-week heartbeat law, which is enforceable today as Idaho law.
“We’re saddened that there is this group of people within our society that have bought into the lies that abortion is healthcare and that abortion is the answer to a child. This is heartbreaking,” Conzetti said. “From a moral perspective, we know these children are children. The way we talk about babies when a woman gets pregnant is a perfect example. We talk about it as if it's a baby because it is a baby. We know it's a baby. Just talk to any mom who has felt the sting of a miscarriage or fetal demise. Talk to any family that hasn't been able to get pregnant. Just the way we talk about these things from a moral perspective indicate this is a child.”
The marchers in Boise Saturday night disagree with Conzatti.
“It's not a baby. It's a fetus. It's not capable of sustaining life,” Voloshen said. “Either way, the mother or parents have the right to decide that they want to do in those kinds of situations. It shouldn't be a law.”
However, it is a law, and 50 years later, McLaughlin picks up a sign and marches the same streets to fight for the same rights - all over again.
“They have absolutely no idea how an unwanted pregnancy can affect her family or the rest of her life,” McLaughlin said.
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