Angela Housley was half way through her pregnancy, when she discovered that the fetus had lost parts of its skull and brain. It would probably die within hours or days of being born, if it survives that long.
The news was delivered during her 20-week-old ultrasound.
Housley stated that the technician had a "really terrible look" on her face. "And then we received the very sad news that our baby had anencephalic."
It was 1992, and abortion was legal in Idaho. However, she had to dodge protestors outside Boise hospital following the procedure. She would probably be forced to continue to term if the same thing happened later in the year.
This is because Idaho has at least 22 states that have laws prohibiting abortions before the 15th week. Many of these laws do not allow for exceptions for fetal viability or rape, and many others are not designed to protect the woman's health. As a draft of the opinion shows, many of these bans would be in effect if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
Even the most conservative anti-abortion plans used to include such exceptions. Experts on both sides of abortion access argue that the exceptions are a temporary stepstone to make anti-abortion laws more acceptable.
Many current abortion bans can be considered "trigger laws", meaning they will automatically go into effect if the high courts overturns the nationwide right for abortion. This ruling is expected to be published in late June or early juillet.
Oklahoma and Alabama have passed bans without exceptions. The federal court blocked Alabama's 2019 law, but it could be restored if the Supreme Court rules. The Republican sponsors of the legislation hoped it would be used as a way to challenge Roe in court. They also suggested that they could add incest and rape exceptions later, if Roe is overturned.
"They're basically using people, in this particular case, women -- as collateral damages," stated Chris England, Democratic Rep. and chairman of the Alabama Democratic Party. "We tried to be reasonable to them during the debate and said, 'What happens to you if they win? "This is the law. You won't have the chance to change it before anyone gets hurt."
According to Guttmacher Institute reporting, several other states have bans or trigger legislation that do not allow for