RELEASE: SCOTUS Ruling in Idaho v. United States Could Trigger Republican-Led States To Deny Life-Saving Reproductive Health Care

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13 Republican-led states have total abortion bans that could be worsened by SCOTUS ruling in Idaho’s favor

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) will soon decide Idaho v. United States, a case that could allow states to ban emergency, life-stabilizing abortions and empower more Republican-controlled states to pass archaic abortion bans and deny women life-saving care. Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and South Dakota already have abortion bans on the books similar to Idaho’s ban, that make no exceptions for the health of the mother. In these states, a pregnant patient could suffer horrific health complications such as sepsis, kidney failure, and loss of fertility, and due to GOP legislation, doctors may not be allowed to provide essential treatment without risking criminal prosecution. 

13 GOP-led states, in addition to Idaho, have total abortion bans that could be worsened by the SCOTUS ruling. A reminder: Every single Republican-controlled legislature has passed or implemented an abortion ban since Roe fell, and these dangerous laws have majorly disrupted pregnancy care. In states with extreme abortion bans, hospitals are closing down maternity wards, OGBYNs are fleeing their states, and the remaining doctors are making health care decisions out of fear of violating extreme abortion laws.

The thirteen states with total abortion bans that could be further emboldened by a SCOTUS decision in favor of Idaho are already hotbeds for attacks on reproductive rights and freedoms. A few of the most recent examples are below:

If the Supreme Court sides with Idaho, Republicans in state legislatures across the country would be encouraged to pursue the most extreme abortion bans that would prevent doctors from providing life-saving care. Trigger bans would take place. The best defense against Republicans’ assault on reproductive freedoms is to elect Democrats to state legislatures, who will champion reproductive care and counter GOP extremism. 

Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee Communications Director Abhi Rahman issued the following statement:

“With the help of a MAGA Republican-appointed Supreme Court that has been hostile to reproductive freedoms, Republican state legislatures could be emboldened in this decision to deny life-stabilizing health care to patients in dire need of immediate medical attention. In states with total abortion bans beyond Idaho, a ‘trigger’ effect could take place, putting millions of lives at risk.

“It’s cruel and inhumane to force medical providers to determine if a patient is close enough to death before providing care, yet this reality could be in effect for millions of women across the country if the MAGA majority on the Supreme Court has its way. Since Dobbs, state legislatures have been the most effective line of defense between Republicans and live-saving reproductive rights. 2024 is the most important year in state legislative campaign history, and the DLCC will continue to fight to make gains across the country, chipping away Republican power community by community, block by block.”

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) is the official Democratic Party committee dedicated to winning America’s state legislatures and building state infrastructure. Over the last decade, we have fought cycle-over-cycle to gain a dozen new legislative chamber majorities and we are leading the effort to bring national attention and investment to our ballot level. State legislatures are the building blocks of our democracy and have the closest connections to Americans’ day-to-day lives. From protecting fundamental freedoms and voting rights to growing the middle class, the DLCC and state legislators are moving the Democratic agenda forward and shaping the future of this country.