BOISE, Idaho (LifeSiteNews) — Republican Gov. Brad Little signed into law a new measure making it a crime in Idaho to take a minor across state lines to receive an abortion without parental consent, which is expected to help counteract abortion activists’ efforts to circumvent state pro-life laws.
The Washington Examiner reported that the new law establishes the “crime of abortion trafficking,” under which any “adult who, with the intent to conceal an abortion from the parents or guardian of a pregnant, unemancipated minor, either procures an abortion… or obtains an abortion-inducing drug” will face up to five years in prison.
“It’s already illegal to get an abortion here in the state of Idaho,” Republican state Rep. Barbara Ehardt said. “So, it would be taking that child across the border, and if that happens without the permission of the parent, that’s where we’ll be able to hold accountable those that would subvert a parent’s right.”
Last August, the Idaho Supreme Court allowed the state to enforce its 2020 “trigger law” banning all abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or threats to a mother’s life to take effect after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last summer to overturn Roe v. Wade, restoring states’ ability to decide their own abortion policies.
Planned Parenthood had petitioned to continue blocking the trigger law from taking effect, however, and the Biden administration had attempted to lend its weight to the effort as well, claiming that the law violates the federal Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTLA) by supposedly prohibiting abortions in cases of “women suffering medical emergencies,” even though the law explicitly makes an exception for such cases.”
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe, Planned Parenthood have suspended abortions and/or closed locations across the country, and pro-life attorneys general have declared their intentions to enforce their states’ duly enacted abortion prohibitions.
But leftists prosecutors in various localities have vowed not to enforce such laws, and pro-abortion activists have pursued a number of strategies to preserve abortion “access,” with legal protection and financial support of interstate abortion travel being one of their chief strategies. Others have included attempting to enshrine “rights” to the practice in state constitutions, effectively insulating it from ordinary state legislation, as well as supporting interstate distribution of abortion pills and attempting to construct new abortion facilities near borders shared by pro-life and pro-abortion states.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has called on Congress to codify a “right” to abortion in federal law, which would not only restore but expand the Roe status quo by making it illegal for states to pass virtually any pro-life laws. Democrats currently lack the votes to do so, but whether they get those votes is sure to be one of the major issues of the 2024 elections.