Bill Description: House Bill 98 would define and prohibit human trafficking of minors for the purpose of a criminal abortion without parental permission.
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 98 would amend Section 18-8602, Idaho Code, to add the following definition to the list of acts that constitute "human trafficking" in Idaho: "Recruiting, harboring, or transporting a pregnant minor with the intent to deprive the pregnant minor's parent of knowledge of, and to procure, a criminal abortion, as described in section 18-622, Idaho Code."
It would additionally define "pregnant minor" as "a pregnant woman who is less than eighteen (18) years of age" and "criminal abortion" as "a violation, an attempted violation, or a threatened violation of section 18-622, Idaho Code."
House Bill 98 would also amend Section 18-622, Idaho Code, which is the criminal abortion statute, to say, "An adult who, with the intent to conceal an unlawful abortion from the parents or guardian of a minor, either procures a criminal abortion, as described in this section, or obtains an abortion-inducing drug for the pregnant minor to use for a criminal abortion by recruiting, harboring, or transporting a pregnant minor within this state, commits human trafficking as defined in section 18-8602(1)(b)(vi), Idaho Code."
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 if the prosecuting attorney authorized to prosecute criminal violations of this section refuses to prosecute violations of any of the provisions of this section 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.
House Bill 98 would amend Section 18-8603, Idaho Code, to say that the penalty for human trafficking for this reason shall be punished by "imprisonment in the state prison for not less than two (2) years and not more than five (5) years."
This is a reduced penalty compared to other types of human trafficking, which carry a penalty of up to 25 years in prison.
House Bill 98 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."