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Tipsheet

New Bill Would Criminalize ‘Abortion Trafficking’ of Minors

Jacquelyn Martin

Legislation under review in Idaho would make it illegal for an adult to help a minor obtain an abortion without parental consent. 

The measure, House Bill 242, would make it illegal for adults to obtain abortion pills for a minor  and “recruiting, harboring, or transporting the pregnant minor” across state lines for an abortion. Those who break the law could face up to five years in prison (via the Associated Press): 

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The law would be the first of its kind in the U.S., where Republican-controlled states have been ramping up abortion bans and restrictions since the U.S. Supreme Court ended a nationwide right to access last year. Idaho is one of 13 states that already effectively ban abortion in all stages of pregnancy. It’s also one of a handful that already have laws that could penalize those who help people of any age obtain abortions.

State Rep. Kevin Andrus, a Republican, told the outlet that parents’ rights were the main focus of the bill. 

“We want to make sure that parents have a say in the life choices of their children,” Andrus said. “It will do a lot to save lives.” 

AP noted that among 47 states that reported abortion data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2019, fewer than 9 percent were women ages 15 to 19 years old. In Idaho, specifically, about 1 in 8 people to obtain abortions in the state were minors. 

“That kind of proposal is definitely something that states should be looking at,” Kelsey Pritchard, a spokesperson for pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, told the outlet. “Idaho’s kind of thinking ahead here.”

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Last summer, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade, which gave women the right to obtain an abortion in 1973. After Roe fell, several states passed laws outlawing or restricting abortion. Women reportedly began traveling to other states to obtain the procedure. And, abortion pill access became the new battleground for pro-abortion advocates.

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