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Pocatello Woman Challenges New “Fetal Pain” Law

An eastern Idaho woman who was briefly charged with having an illegal abortion is suing in federal court, contending that Idaho’s so-called “fetal pain” law and other abortion bans violate the U.S. Constitution.

Jennie McCormack’s lawsuit against Bannock County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Hiedeman is believed to be the first to directly challenge the constitutionality of a new Idaho ban on abortions done after 20 weeks, based on the premise that a fetus may feel pain at that point. Idaho is one of six states that have enacted the bans.

Heideman could not be immediately reached for comment.

McCormack was charged with a felony in June after police said the Pocatello woman took pills to terminate her pregnancy last December. A judge later dismissed the criminal case for lack of evidence.

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