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A fundamental misunderstanding of Idaho’s new abortion law trips up law professor

by | Apr 10, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

It doesn’t take an extensive search to draw the conclusion that Law Professor Mary Ziegler is the pro-abortion movement’s go-to “expert” on abortion and us—the pro-life movement. We’ve addressed some of her op-eds in the past, although not her amazing book “Dollars for Life: The Anti-Abortion Movement and the Fall of the Republican Establishment.”

Most recently—last month, in fact—we critique her New York Times piece titled ”The Abortion Wars Have Become a Fight Over Science”. But now we have a new opinion piece to examine —“Idaho’s new abortion law is first to challenge the right to travel”.

HB 242 is modeled on a portion of National Right to Life’s post-Dobbs model law to protect unborn children. It is the second law of its kind (Missouri being the first).

This will be brief, because the error is so blatant. The headline says Idaho’s new law is about the “right to travel.”  Ziegler argues “Starting with minors is a natural way for abortion opponents to test the waters of a legal prospect that — as a state law that openly seeks to restrict the ability to travel from one state to another by choice — seems to challenge a fundamental tenet of both federalism and freedom.”

Really? Nope. HB 242 makes it a crime for an adult to transport a minor girl within Idaho for the purpose of obtaining an abortion with the intent of keeping knowledge of the abortion from her parents or guardian.  Anyone is free to transport themselves wherever they wish.

Also, in her second sentence, Prof. Ziegler tells us “This week, Idaho passed the first law restricting travel for abortion. Framed as an ‘abortion trafficking’ bill, it criminalizes anyone who helps a minor get an abortion or abortion pills without parental consent.” 

Simply put, HB 242 has zilch to do with “parental consent.” It seeks to have parents notified.

So…the law has nothing to do with any “right to travel” nor does it have anything to do with parental consent. It overwhelmingly passed the state Senate  27-7 and the state House by  57-12-1.

Categories: State Legislation
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