U.S. judge blocks Idaho abortion ban in emergencies; Texas restrictions allowed

Aug 24 (Reuters) – A federal judge on Wednesday blocked Idaho from enforcing a ban on abortions when pregnant women require emergency care, a day after a judge in Texas ruled against President Joe Biden’s administration on the same issue.

The conflicting rulings came in two of the first lawsuits over Biden’s attempts to keep abortion legal after the conservative majority U.S. Supreme Court in June overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the procedure nationwide.

Legal experts said the dueling rulings in Idaho and Texas could, if upheld on appeal, force the Supreme Court to wade back into the debate.

About half of U.S. states have or are expected to seek to ban or curtail abortions following Roe’s reversal. Those states include Idaho and Texas, which like 11 others adopted “trigger” laws banning abortion upon such a decision.

Abortion is already illegal in Texas under a separate, nearly century-old abortion ban that took effect after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision. Idaho’s trigger ban takes effect on Thursday, the same day as in Texas and Tennessee.

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