Justice Department asks judge to pause Idaho abortion ban

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The U.S. Department of Justice asked a federal judge this week to bar Idaho from enforcing its near-total abortion ban while a lawsuit pitting federal health care law against state anti-abortion legislation is underway.

The Idaho law is set to automatically take effect on Aug. 25. It makes it a crime for anyone to perform abortions, punishable by up to five years in prison.

Physicians who are charged can defend themselves at trial by arguing that the abortions are necessary to save a patient’s life or that they were performed because of rape or incest.

Meanwhile, a Wyoming judge is considering whether to put that state’s abortion ban on hold while another lawsuit moves forward.

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