Trafficking of minors for an abortion and Idaho Launch legislation see action from lawmakers

Anyone found guilty of the crime can be punished up to five years in prison.
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 9:56 AM MST
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BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —An Idaho lawmaker is introducing legislation this session that will prohibit individuals from transporting minors to get abortions.

On Tuesday morning in the House State Affairs Committee, Idaho Falls Rep. Barbara Ehardt introduced legislation that seeks to amend sections in the chapter of Idaho Code related to human trafficking by adding definitions related to the illegal trafficking of minors to procure a criminal abortion.

Additionally, HB98 amends Idaho’s criminal abortion statute, by prohibiting anyone from recruiting, harboring, or transporting a minor for a criminal abortion, with the intent of concealing the crime from the minor’s parents. The legislation also extends to obtaining abortion-inducing drugs for a minor.

The legislation also gives the Idaho Attorney General the sole discretion to prosecute a person for a criminal violation. Anyone found guilty of the crime can be punished up to five years in prison.

The legislation also provides for civil remedies as well.

According to the legislation, it is also illegal for someone to transport a minor to receive an abortion in a state where abortion is legal without the parents consent.

“Should we be allowed a hearing we will make sure we have top notch legal authority to deal with this,” said Ehardt. “it is something that unfortunately is happening , and I don’t think any of us want to see our minors trafficked, or in this situation.

The proposed legislation was approved for printing and will receive a public hearing at a future date.

Planned Parenthood issued a statement on the proposed legislation saying it is cruel, and would have lifelong impacts on minors in Idaho. The organization goes on further to state studies show the impact of not getting a wanted abortion can be devastating, as a pregnant person who is denied a wanted abortion is four times more likely to live below the Federal Poverty Level during their life and is more likely to stay in a relationship with an abusive partner.

“Preventing people – including minors – from accessing abortion is dangerous and irresponsible. I can’t think of anything more cruel than a state forcing a child to remain pregnant and punishing people who try to help them. Shame on these lawmakers. All Idahoans should be paying attention to this extreme attempt at government overreach to control our movements in and out of the state of Idaho. This is merely the tip of the iceberg, and we won’t stand for it.”

Rebecca Gibron, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Indiana, Kentucky

BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Also at the Idaho State Capitol on Tuesday, after barely passing through the House yesterday, the Idaho Launch legislation will not be moving the Idaho Senate Education Committee.

The legislation that provides high school graduates up to $8,500 for college or career training, was assigned to the Senate Commerce and Human Resources Committee.

Sen. Tammy Nichols made a motion to send HB24 to the Senate Education Committee because it is primarily an education Bill, and it eliminates two existing college scholarships to help pay for a program.

“I believe that education is the primary subject for this, and it was heard in the House Education Committee two separate times,” Nichols said.

However, Sen. Chuck Winder argued that the incentive program would be administered by the state’s Workforce Development Council, and should go to commerce and human resources committee.

“I would just say follow the money. It goes to the workforce commission. It is under that purview,” Winder said.

The Idaho Senators sided with Winder. Nichols’ motion to send the legislation to the education committee failed on a 9-26 vote.

Nichols was widely supported on the vote by Idaho Freedom Caucus senators. The Freedom Caucus has publicly criticized the Idaho Launch legislation, seeing it as a misuse of tax payer money.

Four of the nine members on the Senate Education Committee are Idaho Freedom Caucus members.