Mar 31, 2023 - Health

Idaho to restrict minors from traveling for abortion in 1st such U.S. law

Picture of a ripped sign that says "my body my choice" taped on a pole in front of the Idaho state Capitol

A sign is taped to a hanger taped to a streetlight in front of the Idaho Capitol on May 3, 2022. Photo: Sarah A. Miller/Idaho Statesman/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The Idaho legislature on Thursday evening passed the nation's first law that makes it illegal for minors to travel out-of-state to get an abortion without parental consent. The bill now heads to the governor's desk.

Why it matters: This is the first time that a state has put a law on the books that restricts its residents from interstate travel for abortion access.

Details: Idaho's HB 242 would imprison for up to five years any adult who accompanies a minor across out-of-state without a parent's consent — an action that the bill calls "abortion trafficking."

  • The bill would take effect 30 days after it is signed into law.

Zoom out: A majority of teens who have abortions involve their parents in their decision, and those who choose not to tell a parent usually involve another "trusted adult," according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Don't forget: When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote in his concurring opinion that a state could not bar a resident from traveling to another state to obtain an abortion "based on their constitutional right to interstate travel."

Yes, but: While the Supreme Court has previously held that a state does not have the authority to enforce its law beyond its borders, legal experts say that in the post-Roe landscape, the high court could revisit that issue.

Between the lines: Other states have attempted to enact laws similar to Idaho's, but they've been struck down by courts.

  • In Missouri, the state's Supreme Court struck down a parental consent law. The court ruled that the state could not apply its law to conduct happening outside of its borders.
Go deeper