- Henry Cuellar on border crisis: ‘Playing defense on the one-yard line’
- Activists vow to occupy fast-food restaurants to get higher pay
- Rep. Luis Gutierrez: Senate Dems wary of immigration politics
- Summer camp for 1 percenters: Sushi, limos and shopping at FAO Schwarz
- Colorado gun crackdown law found to be built on faulty data
- Hank Aaron steps to fundraising plate for Democrat Michelle Nunn
- ISIL terrorists blow up burial site of Jonah, vow more of same
- Impeach Obama, say 35 percent in new poll
- Taliban yank 14 Shiites off bus, bind and shoot them on Afghan road
- Obama takes aim at ‘corporate deserters’
Idaho doctor-lawyer fights fetal pain abortion law
Question of the Day
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The first challenge to the constitutionality of the so-called fetal pain anti-abortion laws enacted in several states has come from an unlikely place. So has the second.
Rick Hearn, the lawyer in the center of this fight, represents an Idaho woman challenging her state’s abortion laws in an effort to avoid future prosecution.
The same Rick Hearn, who also is a physician, is attempting to jump into the case as a plaintiff using his status as a doctor, even though he has never terminated a pregnancy, in an effort to make sure that if the case is successful, it applies broadly enough to get his client off the hook for good.
“I was forced to take this highly unusual step to try to intervene,” Mr. Hearn said. “I didn’t want to.”
More than a half-dozen states, including Arizona and Georgia this month, recently have banned abortion after more than four months of pregnancy, citing research that has divided the medical community by suggesting that a fetus can feel pain at about 20 weeks.
Such legislation had overwhelming support when it came up in Idaho last year.
And even though the state’s attorney general warned at the time that the plan might not be constitutional, lawmakers went ahead undeterred.
“The intent of the bill is to protect the innocent,” said Idaho state Rep. Lynn Luker on Monday.
The Boise Republican added, “The focus of the bill is based on science, that at least by 20 weeks an unborn child can and does feel and react to pain.”
Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, a Republican who presides over a state with more conservatives in the Legislature than in any other state except Wyoming, signed the ban a year ago to the month.
But Mr. Hearn says the measure is an overreach that jeopardizes “the small people” and, because of how it’s written, is nearly impossible for anyone but a doctor to challenge.
“I’m intervening in order to assert Jennie’s right to obtain an abortion from a physician,” Mr. Hearn said, “and the courts have said that doctors can assert the rights of patients, especially in abortion contexts.”
Ms. McCormack’s involvement began the day before Christmas in 2010, months before Idaho’s fetal pain law went into effect. Authorities say McCormack that day gave herself an abortion using pills purchased online.
A friend of Ms. McCormack’s sister became upset, authorities have said, and called police in the rural eastern town of Pocatello, reporting an illegal abortion.
TWT Video Picks
Second- and third-stringers eye 2016 if front-runner stumbles
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- Hamas rejects Kerry's call for cease-fire; Fears grow others could join fight against Israel
- Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala blame U.S. for border children crisis
- PRUDEN: The Democratic-wannabe mice under Hillary Clinton's feet
- Crime-ridden U.S. cities differ on ways to fight gun violence
- Let it roll: D.C. Council hits Las Vegas on taxpayer's dime, leaves $14,000 tab
- Obama takes aim at 'corporate deserters'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq