Idaho passes first-of-its-kind “abortion trafficking” legislation

Wednesday, April 12, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags: , ,

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Idaho has passed a first-of-its-kind “abortion trafficking” law that criminalizes adults who help an underage girl to get an abortion without the consent of her parent or legal guardian, the Christian Post (CP) reports.

Signed into law by Republican Gov. Brad Little on April 5, House Bill 242 carries prison terms of two to five years for anyone found violating it.

House Bill 242 bans the procurement of abortion pills for an underage girl and also makes it illegal to transport her to another state for an abortion without her parents’ or guardians’ knowledge and consent, CP reports. In order not to fall foul of the constitutional right to cross state lines, the law only makes the in-state portion of the trip out-of-state for the purposes of getting an abortion illegal.

In addition to facing a prison term, violators may be sued in the civil courts by the girl’s parents or guardian, CP reports. Violators will be criminalized even if the girl has been raped by a parent – although that parent will not be able to sue the person who helped their daughter get an abortion.

The law also provides for the state attorney general to prosecute violators, even if the county prosecutor chooses not to pursue the case, CP reports.

In signing the bill on April 5, Gov. Little wrote: “House Bill 242 does not criminalize, preclude, or otherwise impair interstate travel, nor does it limit an adult woman from obtaining an abortion in another state. Rather the ‘abortion trafficking’ provision in the bill seeks only to prevent unemancipated minor girls from being taken across state lines for an abortion without the knowledge and consent of her parent or guardian.”

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