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Idaho defends fetal pain abortion law in court

BOISE, Idaho - Idaho attorneys say a federal judge's ruling striking down the state's law banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy should be reversed because criminal charges against the eastern Idaho woman who filed the initial lawsuit had been dismissed.

The Idaho attorney general's office also told a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, California, on Friday that the attorney who intervened on her behalf didn't have legal standing.

Jennie Linn McCormack of Pocatello and Richard Hearn sued the state after she was charged with felony illegal abortion. U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill in March 2013 ruled in their favor.

Hearn, McCormack's attorney, on Friday argued McCormack could be charged again, and that he has legal standing. Hearn is also a doctor and joined the case as another plaintiff, contending that he wants to provide abortion services in the future and that Idaho's laws bar him from doing so.

It's unclear when the panel will make a ruling.

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