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Idaho's 'abortion trafficking' law under fire from other states

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson
Lindsey Wasson
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and 19 other Democratic state attorneys general filed a brief Sunday supporting a lawsuit trying to overturn Idaho's so-called "abortion trafficking" statute.

Idaho’s so-called “abortion trafficking” law is getting opposition from out-of-state. Twenty state attorneys general are supporting a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn the legislation.

Spearheaded by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, the brief filed Sunday accuses Idaho of unconstitutionally regulating interstate travel.

The state law passed earlier this year makes it a felony for anyone helping a pregnant minor obtain an abortion without the consent of her parents. That includes abortion providers located in other states, who have seen significant increases in patients coming from Idaho since the medical procedure was mostly outlawed here last summer.

The brief cites a news report that in a single month last year a Planned Parenthood clinic in Pullman, Wash. saw a 16% increase in its share of patients coming from Idaho, which is less than 10 miles away.

Idahoans in July 2022 made up 78% of that clinic’s patients.

“[Our states] recognize Idaho may regulate abortion within its borders,” the brief states. “But Idaho cannot purport to criminalize the lawful provision of abortion care outside the state.”

Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador’s office has yet to officially respond to the federal lawsuit. It requested a deadline extension until the end of this month.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

Copyright 2023 Boise State Public Radio

I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season.

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