Idaho Bans Out-of-State Abortions for Minors Without Parent's Consent

The law imposes criminal penalties on anyone who helps a person under 18 leave the state for an abortion and classifies it as 'abortion trafficking.'

Idaho Bans Out-of-State Abortions for Minors Without Parent's Consent

Idaho became the first state on Wednesday to prohibit minors from leaving the state without parental consent to obtain an abortion.

Signed by Gov. Brad Little would make 'abortion-trafficking' a crime punishable by two to five years of jail time for anyone who assists a minor in getting an abortion, or obtaining abortion pills, without the consent of a parent or guardian.

Law allows lawsuits to be filed against doctors who perform abortions even if they live outside of the state. Idaho's attorney general has'sole discretion,' if local prosecutors do not enforce the law.

Idaho is one of the 13 states in the United States that have banned most abortions. Its abortion laws are already among the strictest. State law prohibits abortions with a few exceptions for the sake of mother's life or rape and incest. The state allows for family members to sue the abortion providers in civil courts.

Washington, Oregon and other neighboring states allow abortions.

Idaho's Supreme Court ruled also in January that Idaho Constitution does not include the right to the procedural procedure.

Still, the sponsors of the new legislation, which was passed by the Legislature with ease, praised these additional measures for their importance in protecting children and parental rights.

The new law was criticized by critics who said that it exceeded the state's authority in punishing travel outside of the state.

In a formal letter announcing the law's passage, Republican Governor Little praised the right of states to determine abortion policy following the U.S. Supreme Court's Dobbs V. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision, last year, that overturned the national established right to abort.

He also took issue the claims that the law will 'criminalize', 'preclude' or otherwise hamper interstate travel. He wrote that the bill was not intended to criminalize, preclude or otherwise impair interstate travel.

The law will take effect within 30 days.

Mistie DelliCarpini Tolman, Idaho State Director of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates called the measure "despicable."

She said: 'This should be a warning for anyone living in states where lawmakers are hostile to this vital health care procedure. This could also come to your state.

Megan Wold was a former law assistant to Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., of the U.S. Supreme Court and a lobbyist with Right to Life Idaho.

Ms. Wold presented the bill to a House Committee, stating that girls who were pregnant could be vulnerable to men who wished to arrange an 'abortion in secret'.

Abortion advocates will likely challenge the law at court. Justice Brett Kavanaugh who sided with the Supreme Court in Dobbs' decision, has been quoted as saying that a state cannot prevent people from travelling outside their own states to get an abortion because of their constitutional right to travel.

Washington has passed a bill that protects those traveling to Washington for abortion treatment from other states from being subpoenaed or served court orders. The bill is now before a Senate Committee.

Jay Inslee, a Democrat from Washington, wrote to Mr. Little on Tuesday and urged him not sign a law with 'harmful effects'. He said, "We will protect our health care providers and will shelter and comfort your Idaho residents who are seeking health care services they cannot get in Idaho."

Idaho doctors also expressed their concerns. A hospital in northern Idaho announced last month that, due to the political climate, it would cease providing labor and delivery services.

The hospital released a statement saying that the Idaho Legislature "continues to introduce and approve bills which criminalize physicians who provide medical care recognized nationally as standard care."