In the next installment of conservatives making more faux attempts to “protect the children” let’s turn to Idaho.
This week the Idaho House passed a bill that seeks to limit the ability of minors seeking reproductive health care, including abortion, to travel out of state without parental consent.
How is that going to work?
Will two sisters, one 17 and the other 16, be stopped at the state borders for 1) pregnancy test and 2) phone call to parents to make sure they have permission to visit a friend or relative out of state?
Will two best friends, headed to a concert or sporting event be similarly stopped?
If a young woman is traveling with a young man, will the young man’s parents also be queried?
Logistically, state borders are porous. Who is going to man the abortion checkpoints on interstates, state highways, county roads and dirt tracks?
Idaho already has some of the most extreme restrictions on reproductive health in the country with nearly all abortions banned at six weeks.
Keep in mind that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a paragon of judicial integrity, wrote one of the concurring decisions in last summer’s Dobb’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, that emphasized that interstate travel bans would not be legal.
Square that with Idaho’s “abortion trafficking” bill which would make it a felony punishable by two to five years in prison.
And here is a side note, Bonner General Health, the only hospital in Sandpoint in the northeast part of the state, announced last week that it would no longer provide labor, delivery and other obstetrical services –including prenatal care.
Hospital spokespeople said that action was taken due to the political climate in Idaho, citing the increasing criminalization of physicians and its ability to retain pediatricians as major reasons.
It seems if you politicize health care, and reproductive health is health care, doctors don’t want to be caught in the middle and hospitals close. Where are all those young women fleeing the state for reproductive health care going to deliver their babies if hospitals continue to close.
How’s that going to work?