(CNS News) -- Idaho's Republican governor, Brad Little, signed into law on Tuesday a bill that prohibits abortion when the unborn baby's heartbeat is detectable, which usually occurs six weeks into pregnancy.
"This legislation prohibits abortion procedures when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, with the exceptions included for rape, incest, and life of the mother," reads the new law's Statement of Purpose.
"A detectable heartbeat is a key indicator, in law and medical practice alike, of the existence of life," it states. "This legislation becomes effective upon the issuance of any decision upholding a restriction or ban on abortion of a preborn child with a heartbeat by any United States appellate court."
“Idaho is a state that values the most innocent of all lives – the lives of babies," said Gov. Little on Tuesday. "We should never relent in our efforts to protect the lives of the preborn. Hundreds and hundreds of babies lose their lives every year in Idaho due to abortion, an absolute tragedy."
"I appreciate Idaho lawmakers for continuing to protect lives by passing this important legislation, and I am proud to sign the bill into law today,” said the governor.
Senator Patti Anne Lodge (R), the bill’s sponsor, said, “We have a multitude of services available for women in crisis pregnancies. Choosing life is supported with compassionate help throughout the pregnancy and extends to 18 months after birth. Life goals can still be achieved for both the mother and child."
"With the availability of compassionate and supportive services and the rights pregnant women have in today’s world, a woman can give birth and continue her life goals," said Lodge. "Encouraging life also provides two million families that want to adopt the opportunity to love and raise a child, if the mother chooses adoption.”
"Currently, abortion is still legal in all 50 states; this is a 'trigger bill' that will go into effect when another Circuit Court of Appeals upholds similar legislation," said Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates in a statement. "If that happens, Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai‘i, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky (PPGNHAIK) will take legal action."
"House Bill 366 is an extreme law that is part of a years-long effort to dismantle reproductive health care in the state of Idaho," said Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates.
As explained by LifeNews.com, several states have passed "heartbeat" bills into law but they have been stalled because of challenges in federal courts: "States with heartbeat laws include Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio and Tennessee. So this bill contains a trigger provision that would take effect only if a court in the U.S. upholds another heartbeat law."