Idaho Must Pay ACLU Lawyers 66K Over Failed Lawsuit on Abortion Consent
by Steven Ertelt
June 25, 2008
Boise, ID (LifeNews.com) — The state of Idaho owes lawyers from the pro-abortion ACLU law firm $66,000 after failing to uphold a law requiring parental consent for abortions. In losing the lawsuit, the state was forced to pay for attorney fees for the pro-abortion firm, which represented the Planned Parenthood abortion business.
In total, the state of Idaho will have paid ACLU lawyers over $400,000 by the time all of the payments are complete.
During the lawsuit, federal District Court Judge Lynn Winmill enjoined the state from enforcing the parental consent law because of his concerns over the notification of parents in the event an abortion practitioner performed an emergency abortion on their child.
The effort to get a consent law on the books goes back to the 1998 session of the Idaho Legislature.
Idaho Gov. Butch Otter signed the third and final version of the parental consent measure into law in March 2007.
The new provision requires parental consent before an abortion can be done on a minor teenager. That gives parents the right and ability to refuse to allow their daughters to have an abortion.
To comply with the judge’s rulings in the two previous failed attempts, Sen. Russ Fulcher deleted provisions that have been found unconstitutional.
The new measure includes a judicial bypass provision that courts have said must be a part of parental involvement laws. The bypass allows a teenager to avoid the notification or consent requirement in cases where they are victims of abuse.
The consent requirement would apply to any teenager under the age of 18 who isn’t married and requires abortion practitioners to obtain written consent of one parent before the abortion can be done.
Because of the changes, Rebecca Poedy, president of Planned Parenthood of Idaho, told the Idaho Statesman newspaper the abortion business won’t file a lawsuit against it a third time.
"It took the Legislature three times to pass a constitutional parental consent bill," Poedy said Tuesday. "Legally, we don’t see a challenge to it."
A recent study found that laws such as parental notification or consent reduced the abortion rate on teenage girls by more than 50 percent.
Dr. Michael New says that parental involvement laws passed in the 1990s resulted in a "dramatic decrease in the incidence of abortion among minors." In 1985, 13.5 abortions were performed on minors for every 1,000 girls between the ages of 13 and 17.
By 1999, the abortion rate for minors had fallen by over 50 percent to 6.5 per 1,000 teenage girls ages 13 to 17.
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