Breaking: Idaho Woman Challenging “Fetal Pain” Ban


Jennie McCormack, the Idaho mother of three who was accused of “unlawful abortion” for purchasing drugs off the internet to induce a miscarriage of an unwanted pregnancy, was facing jail time and large fines under Idaho abortion laws until her case was dismissed for lack of evidence.

But now, it’s McCormack who isn’t letting the issue drop.  She has filed suit challenging both the 1972 Idaho law making it illegal to end your own pregnancy, as well as the newly passed 20 week “fetal pain” ban that makes it a crime to abort any fetus after the pregnancy has reached 20 weeks.

McCormack, who believed that she was 14 weeks pregnant when she self-aborted, was found later to be closer to 5 or 6 months gestation according to the medical examiner.  Under the new law, she would have additional criminal charges filed against her due to the age of the fetus despite not being aware that she was breaking a second law.

It is unclear at this point whether McCormack’s challenge of the fetal pain law, which multiple other states have enacted as well, will hold up, as she officially induced her abortion shortly before the law went into effect.  However, the class action suit she has started in order to overturn the ban on ending your own pregnancy — which limits many women in the state’s ability to obtain an abortion by not allowing them access to medication abortions, only more expensive surgical procedures, has much firmer legal standing.  McCormack herself swore in an affidavit that there are no abortion providers in her area of the state, and that a surgical abortion was unattainable for a mother of three with less than $250 a month in income.

McCormack’s lawyer is seeking an injunction on both abortion laws until their constitutionality can be determined, and a hearing is scheduled for Sept. 8th.

Related Stories:

Case Dismissed Against Women Accused of “Unlawful Abortion”

Idaho Woman Charged For “Unlawful Abortion,” Turned In By Anti-Choice Advocate

Photo credit: wikimedia commons


Sandra Frederiks
Sandra Frederiks6 years ago

the rest of my comment didn't show up, so here it is:
I asked, without a supply of unwanted children, where will the military draw their supply of new recuits? If people are not starving, who will be willing to work for a pittance? It could be that those who belong to the "haves" in our society are more concerned about keeping those less fortunate In the have not category of society.

Sandra Frederiks
Sandra Frederiks6 years ago

If a fetus can feel pain, then every fetus should be brought forth by C-section. As a woman born in a country that has lately been designated the third best place in the world to be a woman, I can tell you that as an unwanted child who was born and created a great strain on the financial and emotional resources of that family, it is a fate I would not wish on my worst enemy.To think that being a woman in a supposedly good place to be a woman could be so atrocious, I do not want to know what it must be like to be a woman and have no rights whatsoever. If there is a heaven and hell, then to be an unwanted female is certainly hell and to be a female without rights is equally hell. Is it heaven to be a man? Not if he cares about the women he sees being so badly treated.
To deny a woman the right to choose the fate and direction of her own life is not about being "pro-life". If you are truly pro-life, you are against capital punishment, you spend every dime on ensuring those less fortunate than you have food, shelter and clothing, you put every demented old person on life sustaining equipment and you do your best to never let anyone die. Most bellicose "pro life" advocates are either hypocrites or delusional. The Tea Party and other "pro lifers" are pro control. They are terrified of women because if women ever get a level playing field, those who choose to abuse will have to pay the piper.Imagine that, without a whole lot of unwanted children, where will the military soldie

Lauren P.
Lauren Phillips6 years ago

I wholeheartedly believe in a womans right to choose whether she will give birth or have an abortion. I also believe this should be done in a timely manner, cmon women know when they miss a couple of periods they are pregnant. To wait until the fetus is six months along and then decide to abort is not right. As a mother I can tell you that my child was kicking and making her presence known at five months along and there are many preemies who live at 6 months. I have known nurses who have been present at late term abortions and the child was born alive That my friends is murder.

Gayle R.
Gayle R6 years ago

I wish her luck and an intelligent decision based on facts rather than ideology.

Patrick Donovan
Patrick D6 years ago

To me, with a wife, 2 sisters, and a daughter, there is no question that it is a woman's right to choose what happens to her own body.

Laurita Walters
Laurita Walters6 years ago

I think an intelligent society would provide free abortions and treat the woman like a thinking, responsible member of that society to help alleviate our overpopulation. Of course some people think life is precious -- nonsense. My life is precious to me, and babies should be precious -- as they would be if none were unwanted or extra. As long as it is easier to become pregnant than it is to change a tire, there will be too many babies. Folks are just too careless, and too thoughtless.

Sandra L.
Sandra L6 years ago

Well, everyone must have their causes....but while I support a woman's right to make her own decision regarding whether to bear a child, I also recognize that at 5-6 months, the fetus is indeed sufficiently developed such that it should not be aborted save for medical reasons.

Does a 5-6 month old fetus feel pain? I don't know. When my son was born it was widely believed that babies feel no pain and therefore was circumcised without medication. His screams told me he felt every cut.

Lawrence Travers
Lawrence Travers6 years ago

Put major effort into voting those who voted for the two "laws" out of office! The citizenry of this Country is lazy, complacent, and pretty much deserve what the nut cases are doing.

Jillian E.
Jillian Edwards6 years ago

In the West at least, except in the worst case scenarios such as rape whether within or outside marriage, there is no excuse for unwanted pregnancies when contraception is, or should be, available to all. But, accidents can and do happen.
We should instead be encouraging abortion for all women who choose this route particularly teenagers, those in unstable or abusive relationships or women with already more children than they can afford to raise.
Pro-lifers just do not seem to understand the consequences of their actions. In a world where enhanced maternal care, vaccinations against the many diverse diseases now saving so many childrens' lives and the research into cures for currently fatal diseases mean the worlds' population will increase to unsustainable numbers even faster than predicted. How will they react then.

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.