By Gudrun Schultz

  Idaho, March 28, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Legislation restoring a parental consent law for minor girls seeking an abortion has been established in Idaho, after Governor Butch Otter signed the measure March 27.

“This is a tremendous victory for the families of Idaho. We fully expect this law to go unchallenged in court,” said David Ripley of Idaho Chooses Life. “With the bill’s emergency clause, this law is now in effect. Hopefully the days are past when Planned Parenthood and others can prey upon Idaho’s daughters.”

  Court battles over parental consent legislation have cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs over the past 10 years—despite repeatedly approving measures requiring parental notification, the state legislature was not able to withstand constitutional challenges to the legislation. In 2005 federal District Court Judge Lynn Winmill effectively struck down the law by forbidding Idaho from enforcing it—in his decision Winmill cited concerns over the lack of a clause permitting emergency abortions without waiting for parental notification.

  The current bill includes exemptions for minors whose pregnancies are the result of incest or forcible rape, or for medical emergencies. A judge may also decide that a teenage girl is mature enough to consent on her own, or that an abortion is in her best interest.

“Today’s victory is the result of many fine people over a very long time,” Ripley said, thanking all those who worked to ensure the passage of the legislation.

“We wish to thank Rep. Tom Loertscher and Sen. Russ Fulcher – who championed this year’s effort. But we look back on the many heroes of this battle, particularly the sacrifices of Rep. Bill Sali, going back to the 1998 session of the Idaho Legislature.”

  Parental notification laws have been shown to significantly reduce abortion rates among minor girls. A study released last month by the Heritage Foundation found that requiring teenagers to inform their parents before obtaining an abortion caused a 16 percent drop in abortion rates among girls aged 13-17.

  See related LifeSiteNews coverage:

  Court Nixes Law Requiring Parental Consent on Abortion for Minors in Idaho
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/jul/04071612.html

  Study Finds Pro-life Incremental Legislation Cuts Minor Abortion Rates by Almost 25%
  http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/feb/07020901.html