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Tipsheet

Idaho Gov. Signs ‘Abortion Trafficking’ Bill Into Law, First of Its Kind In U.S.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Governor Brad Little (R-Idaho) is making a pact to protect minors and unborn babies’ lives by signing an “abortion trafficking” bill into law. 

The law, the first in the U.S., makes it illegal for an adult to help a minor get an abortion without parental consent. 

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“An adult who, with the intent to conceal an abortion from the parents or guardian of a pregnant, un-emancipated minor, either procures an abortion … or obtains an abortion-inducing drug for the pregnant minor to use for an abortion by recruiting, harboring, or transporting the pregnant minor within this state commits the crime of abortion trafficking,” the law states.

The law includes prohibiting adults from administering abortion pills to young girls without a parent’s consent as well. 

The law makes the crime a felony, and anyone convicted will face two to five years in prison and could also be sued by the minor’s parent or guardian.

Sponsored by Rep. Barbara Ehardt (R-Idaho), the law also allows parents and guardians of the minor to seek statutory damages from medical professionals who “knowingly or recklessly” attempt to perform an abortion on a child without parental consent. 

However, Little said the newly signed law, which will go into effect in May, does not prevent adults from traveling interstate to obtain abortions.

“With the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe vs. Wade last summer, the right and duty to establish legal policy on abortion were finally returned to our state democratic process,” Little wrote in a letter to state lawmakers last week. 

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However, critics accuse Little of “holding people hostage when trying to access essential health services.”

“Young people seeking abortion deserve our compassion and support, not the extreme government overreach this law sanctions. Make no mistake: HB242 will have a chilling effect on those who would help minors access critical abortion care, putting young people in dangerous and isolating situations. We know these extreme attacks will continue, and Planned Parenthood will never stop fighting for everyone’s ability to control their own lives, bodies, and futures,” Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said. 

Little’s law is one of the most extreme measures taken to protect unborn babies’ lives who have the right to live, saying he supports pro-life policies. 

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