Bill Description: House Bill 242 would define and prohibit the trafficking of minors for the purpose of a criminal abortion without parental permission.
NOTE: House Bill 242 is related to House Bill 98, introduced earlier this session.
NOTE: The Senate amendment to House Bill 242 deletes some duplicative and contradictory language and removes a provision that "a damage award in an action brought under this section may not be paid for, or reimbursed by, an insurance policy, except to the extent that the person against whom the damage award is assessed has insufficient personal assets to pay the total damage award." The amendment does not change the rating.
Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?
House Bill 242 would create Section 18-623, Idaho Code, to prohibit "abortion trafficking." This new law would say, "An adult who, with the intent to conceal an abortion from the parents or guardian of a pregnant, unemancipated minor, either procures an abortion, as described in section 18-604, Idaho Code, or obtains an abortion-inducing drug for the pregnant minor to use for an abortion by recruiting, harboring, or transporting the pregnant minor within this state commits the crime of abortion trafficking."
It would clarify that the purpose of the law is to protect parental rights, saying, "It shall be an affirmative defense to a prosecution" under the provision above "that a parent or guardian of the pregnant minor consented to trafficking of the minor."
It would also clarify that trafficking a minor to another state with more permissive abortion laws still violates this provision.
The bill would also add a unique enforcement provision, stating "The Idaho attorney general has the authority, at the attorney general's sole discretion, to prosecute a person for a criminal violation of this section or section 18-622, Idaho Code, if the prosecuting attorney authorized to prosecute criminal violations of this section or section 18-622, Idaho Code, refuses to prosecute violations of any of the provisions of this section or section 18-622, Idaho Code, by any person without regard to the facts or circumstances."
This provision would allow the attorney general to intervene if a local prosecutor declined to defend parental rights by prosecuting the human trafficking of a minor.
Under this bill, the penalty for abortion trafficking would be punished by "imprisonment in the state prison for no less than two (2) years and no more than five (5) years."
This is a substantially reduced penalty compared to other types of human trafficking, which carry a penalty of up to 25 years in prison.
House Bill 242 would amend Section 18-8807, Idaho Code, dealing with civil causes of action for women "upon whom an abortion has been attempted or performed," and other relatives of the preborn child.
The bill would add several new subsections clarifying and expanding the right to bring an action under the section, including a provision that "a damage award in an action brought under this section may not be paid for, or reimbursed by, an insurance policy, except to the extent that the person against whom the damage award is assessed has insufficient personal assets to pay the total damage award."
It further states that the damage award may not be "subject to any limitations on medical malpractice awards."
These provisions may serve to increase the effectiveness of civil causes of action.
The new language also adds a provision protecting free speech, saying, "The provisions of this section shall not be construed to impose liability on speech or conduct protected by the first amendment of the United States constitution or by section 9, article I of the constitution of the state of Idaho."
Finally, it creates a statute of limitations on these civil actions, stating, "Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a person may bring an action not later than six (6) years after the date the action accrues."
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