September 23, 2019

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Federal Judge Sides With Legal Voice in Idaho Suit for Pregnant People’s Rights

11/9/2019

Every week, we hear about new attacks on abortion and pregnant people's right to access safe healthcare and self-determination over their bodies. Last week, we scored a victory in that fight with our lawsuit in Idaho.

 

A federal court rejected a motion to dismiss our challenge to an Idaho state law that invalidates a person's advance directive if they are pregnant, paving the way for Legal Voice and co-counsel to proceed with the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the statute.  

 

Idaho's Medical Consent and Natural Death Act recognizes the fundamental right of competent persons to control the decisions relating to their medical care, except for people who are pregnant. The law states that pregnant people's advanced healthcare directives shall have no force. Instead, the state will decide for them what treatments they will receive until "the pregnancy is complete."

 

The pregnancy exclusion deprives people who can become pregnant of their fundamental right to direct their own medical care, making a pregnant person's decisions about their own health less worthy of respect than others' opinions and decisions.

 

Legal Voice filed the lawsuit, Almerico et al. v. State of Idaho et al., in May 2018 on behalf of four Idaho women, naming the Idaho Secretary of State, Attorney General, and the Idaho Health and Welfare Department Director as defendants in the suit.

 

Legal Voice is working with Compassion & Choices and the Boise office of Perkins Coie LLP on the lawsuit.

 

Idaho's law violates people's constitutional rights to equality and to direct their own medical care. We will continue to fight to make sure that pregnant people are not subject to medical interventions against their will and that every individual has the right to have control over her own body.

 

 

 

 

 

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