Idaho state House passes bill criminalizing 'abortion trafficking' to attempt to prevent access to abortion care across state lines.
In their quest to prevent Idahoans from accessing reproductive healthcare services, Idaho lawmakers are getting creative, literally introducing a bill to create a new crime called "abortion trafficking" that would criminalize transporting pregnant minors to other states to access abortion care.
Abortions are almost completely outlawed within Idaho, except in cases of a medical emergency, incest or sexual assault.
Those exceptions are anything but easy to utilize, though.
\u201cThis is fascism 101. These repressive laws will kill women, increase infant deaths, close hospitals and contribute to the decline of healthcare for all. Idaho is funded!\u201d— Cycling Aikidoka (@Cycling Aikidoka) 1680358282
Any pregnant person seeking an abortion because of sexual assault or incest is required to file a police report and show it to the medical provider before recieving care.
Minors seeking an abortion for these same reasons are also required to obtain permission from their parents.
In addition to creating criminal penalties for so-called "abortion trafficking," the law would allow for the family of the minor or the father of the fetus to file a civil suit against any medical providers involved in the abortion.
\u201cOh my God. Idaho Republicans have passed a bill that would create a new crime called \u201cabortion trafficking\u201d which would restrict travel to other states to get an abortion and charge violators with a felony and minimum of 2 to 5 years in prison. https://t.co/fVLbIaV6JI\u201d— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen) 1680033874
Idaho House Bill 242 would add an amendment to the Idaho Code that would criminalize acquiring abortion pills for a minor "by recruiting, harboring, or transporting the pregnant minor within this state" if they intend to help a minor abort a pregnancy wihtout their parent's knowledge.
Idaho Republican Governor Brad Little is a strong supporter of the proposed law.
\u201cIdaho opens what will be a broad and ongoing attack on women and girls\u2019 right to travel by creating a new felony crime, \u201cabortion trafficking.\u201d Under the law, anyone who helps a minor travel to obtain an abortion out of state will be sentenced to two to five years in prison.\u201d— Moira Donegan (@Moira Donegan) 1680035543
Last year when the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, Little said:
"I join many in Idaho and across the country today in welcoming the high court's long-awaited decision upholding state sovereignty and protecting pre-born lives."
"The decision provides clarity around landmark cases at the center of passionate debate in our country for nearly five decades."
"This is now clear—the ‘right’ to an abortion was a judicial creation."
Idaho already has a 6-week abortion ban that is one of the strictest in the United States that would have been even stricter if the US Department of Justice hadn't sued the state over the law.
\u201cNEWS: Republicans in Idaho passed a bill against what it calls "abortion trafficking," forbidding women from traveling to other states to get an abortion, and penalizes those who break that law with a felony and 2-5 years in prison.\n\nIdaho is already one of most extreme\u2026\u201d— Really American \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8 (@Really American \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\uddf8) 1680108501
A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction against enforcing the ban on abortions in the case of medical emergency—the suit argued Idaho's law violates federal law that guarantees access to emergency medicine.
Governor Little definitely didn't approve of the lawsuit, however.
\u201cIdaho GOP Makes Up 'Trafficking' Crime Against Abortion: Reproductive rights advocates and Democratic state lawmakers in Idaho on Wednesday condemned a Republican proposal to create a new crime in the state using the invented term.. via @crooksandliars https://t.co/z0xAuRVIvW\u201d— Jeffrey Levin \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 (@Jeffrey Levin \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6) 1680357726
He made that clear last August when the suit was filed.
"Here in Idaho, we are proud that we have led the country in protecting pre-born lives."
"I will continue to work with Attorney General Lawrence Wasden to vigorously uphold state sovereignty and defend Idaho’s laws in the face of federal meddling."
The newest bill would have anyone convicted of committing "abortion trafficking" face 2 to 5 years in Idaho state prison.
\u201cNatural selection will end the republican party. \n\nTake Idaho, where they gleefully put republicans in power, and pass laws knowing hospitals will close, Doctors flee, and they will kill mothers and children. So keep voting for republicans. You pathetically ignorant fascists.\u201d— Captain Cranky (@Captain Cranky) 1679371465
The bill is already facing fierce opposition from reproductive rights organizations.
Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates has already vowed to fight the legislation.
Mack Smith, a Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates spokesperson, said:
"Whether it comes from us or one of our coalition partners, there will be a legal challenge."
"We definitely will be fighting this with everything that we've got. There is just absolutely no way that this is constitutional."