Idaho Abortion Information Change Advances While Parental Consent Stalled

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 1, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Idaho Abortion Information Change Advances While Parental Consent Stalled Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 1, 2006

Boise, ID ( — An Idaho proposal to require parental permission before a teenager can have an abortion has been put on hold and the bill may not get a hearing this legislative session. Meanwhile, a state Senate committee approved changes to the state’s Right to Know law.

The full Senate will soon debate a measure that would modify the state’s 1983 abortion information law requiring abortion practitioners to give women information about abortion’s risks and alternatives.

Sponsored by Sen. Hal Bunderson, a Republican, the change is meant to allow the information to not be given in cases of medical emergencies — a provision not included originally.

The Idaho attorney general office determined the law wouldn’t stand up in court without the change, based on Supreme Court rulings. Deputy Attorney General William von Tagen approved of the bill, saying it would remedy the problem.

The Senate State Affairs Committee approved the change unanimously and the full Senate will vote on it next week. Pro-life groups also signed off on the fix.

“Regardless of the supposed normalcy of abortion, it continues to pose physical and emotional risks,” Julie Lynde, of Cornerstone Institute of Idaho, told AP.

Meanwhile, Idaho has already spent $360,000 defending pro-life laws that abortion advocates keep taking to court. That also includes a 2005 parental consent measure and the lawsuit over that is pending before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Because of that, state attorneys are concerned about passing another law that will only wind up being the subject of another lawsuit from abortion businesses.

Representative Bill Sali floated a bill to take care of some of the issues the first parental consent bill had that courts are finding problematic. But an opinion from the state attorney general’s office says the judicial bypass provision still has problems.

Sali told The Associated Press he was unsure if he would be able to get any traction for the bill this year, saying "the bar has been set pretty high."