Idaho Bill Requiring Adequate Abortion Information Gets Senate Approval

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 15, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Idaho Bill Requiring Adequate Abortion Information Gets Senate Approval

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 15, 2004

Boise, ID ( — The Idaho state Senate has passed legislation that would revise the state’s old Right to Know with something that will be more enforceable. The legislation is intended to ensure that abortion facilities are required to provide women with information about abortion’s risks, alternatives and fetal development 24 hour prior to performing the abortion.

Similar laws in other states have proven effective in reducing the number of abortions and helping women make better choices.

The bill was prompted by concern from pro-life groups that a 1983 law was not being enforced.

Pro-life groups met with pro-life Gov. Dirk Kempthorne (R) and one group, Idaho Chooses Life, unsuccessfully sued the state in order to enforce the law.

Other groups, such as Idaho Right to Life, say the old state law is ineffective and a new one is needed to ensure that abortion practitioners can’t determine on their own when a woman considering an abortion should receive the information.

The bill says women should also receive information on the right not to have an abortion, pregnancy help and assistance that is available, and that the state of Idaho prefers birth over abortion. Abortion practitioners would also be required to show women an ultrasound image of her unborn child if she asks for one.

Women who do not receive the information properly can sue for damages.

The Idaho Senate approved the bill 20-15 and it now heads to the state House for consideration.
"If implemented, this bill would save lives," Mary Balch, the director of state legislation for the National Right to Life Committee, told

Balch said Kempthorne and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden both support the legislation.

Four places in Idaho perform abortions, with three in Boise and one in Pocatello.

In February, the Idaho Supreme Court rejected an effort by Idaho Chooses Life to get the state health department to enforce a law that some pro-life advocates say has "serious flaws."

Related web sites:
Idaho State Legislature –