Idaho should hold a referendum and let its people speak on the subject of abortion. The state has one of the strictest bans in the nation.

The Idaho Supreme Court said late Friday that the state’s strict antiabortion laws can take effect while it reviews legal challenges against the restrictions. The near-total ban on abortions is scheduled to kick in Aug. 25.

The court also lifted a stay on a separate law that allows potential relatives of a fetus to sue a provider who carries out an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. That law becomes effective immediately.

The decision was made in response to lawsuits from a Planned Parenthood chapter and a local doctor challenging laws such as Idaho’s near-total abortion trigger ban, which was designed to become enforceable shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. The petitioners had asked the judiciary to suspend enforcement of the abortion restrictions until it reached a final decision.

But Idaho’s highest court denied the requests in a split decision, saying that the petitioners had failed to show that they were likely to prevail in overturning the state’s antiabortion laws.

Idaho’s abortion restrictions have exceptions for rape, incest and when the life of the pregnant person is at risk. Abortion rights supporters had previously argued in court that the medical exceptions were written so vaguely that they were impossible to follow, the Associated Press reported.
The court also noted that the petitioners had raised “serious issues” about the “lack of clarity” regarding Idaho’s medical exceptions, particularly relating to treatment for conditions such as ectopic pregnancies — when a fetus grows outside the uterus, making the pregnancy unviable — and preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication associated with dangerously high blood pressure…

The Idaho Republican Party, which calls abortion “murder from the moment of fertilization” on its platform, didn’t immediately issue a statement in response to the ruling. Its Twitter account retweeted and liked a local reporter’s update on the court’s decision.