Idaho lawmakers are considering making it illegal for an adult to assist a minor with an abortion without parental consent.
The measure would create a new crime of “abortion trafficking,” prohibiting adults from obtaining abortion pills for a minor and “who recruit, harbor or transport pregnant minors.” To avoid violating a constitutional right to travel between states, state law would only make illegal that portion of a trip to an out-of-state abortion provider that occurs in Idaho.
People convicted of breaking the law faced two to five years in prison.
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The law would be the first of its kind in the US, where Republican-controlled states have tightened abortion bans and restrictions since the US Supreme Court ended a statewide right of access last year. Idaho is one of 13 states that already effectively ban abortion at all stages of pregnancy. It’s also one of the few that already have laws that could penalize those who help people of all ages get abortions.
One of the GOP sponsors, Rep. Kevin Andrus, told The Associated Press that the bill’s focus is on parental rights.
“We want to make sure parents have a say in their children’s life decisions,” he said. “It will do a lot to save lives.”
Abortion rights organizations across the country portray this as a needless attempt to make access to legal abortion even more difficult.
Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health, said the ban would have a deterrent effect if adopted.
“That would mean that people who might otherwise be really important supports would ask, ‘Can I be the supportive aunt or sister or friend in a situation where I want to be a support for that person?'” Miller said .
The measure has already been passed by the state parliament and is now pending examination in the state senate. If it passes the GOP-controlled chamber, it still needs the approval of the governor, Republican Brad Little, to become law.
Mack Smith, a spokesman for the Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates, said the bill will likely become law, but the controversy over it won’t end there.
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“If it passes,” she said, “there will definitely be a lawsuit.”
A relatively small number of abortions in the United States are performed by minors. Among the 47 states that reported abortion data for 2019 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fewer than 9% of people who received abortions were 15 to 19 years old. Idaho had a higher proportion than most states; about 1 in 8 people to get abortions, it was 15 to 19.
Access advocates say that most teens who have abortions involve their parents in the decision and that those who do not have a good reason, such as B. an abusive relationship, often not.
Andrus, the sponsor, said he doesn’t know how often minors in Idaho have had abortions without their parents’ consent.
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“All I know is that it happened,” he said.
Kelsey Pritchard, spokeswoman for the national anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, expects other states to consider following Idaho’s approach, which she says is important to ensuring protections protect parents’ rights to participate in abortion decisions is not disregarded.
“This type of proposal is definitely something that states should look at,” she said. “Idaho is kinda thinking ahead here.”
Source : www.foxnews.com