Rep. Steve Kren, R-Nampa, successfully introduced legislation in the House State Affairs Committee Thursday that would effectively prevent abortions based on gender or race.
Under Kren's plan, anyone who bases an abortion decision on one of the two factors could be charged with a felony. Additionally, anyone who knows of the abortion plans but fails to report them to authorities could be charged with a misdemeanor.
Kren told lawmakers that the legislation was brought to him from a gentleman from Eagle, though he didn't offer specifics on that man's identity, and Kren said he felt the issue is one that should be explored by lawmakers. Kren said that when the bill receives a full hearing, he will bring in evidence that shows this practice is occurring. When asked by Rep. Elfreda Higgins, D-Garden City, if the practice is prevalent in Idaho, Kren replied that he wasn't sure, but said he is bringing the legislation to spark a debate and discussion among lawmakers.
Rep. Phylis King, D-Boise, asked Kren about what would happen if an African-American man raped a woman, which could lead to the abortion decision being based on race. Kren told King and committee members that the state already has laws that protect the woman involved in cases of rape or incest.
Rep. Anne Pasley-Stuart, D-Boise, with other Democrats on the panel, tried to kill the legislation, but their efforts were thwarted by committee Republicans. The legislation will receive a full hearing next week.