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Idaho

Restrictions on Young Women's Access to Abortion

Idaho law restricts young women's access to abortion.

Is the law enforceable? Yes.  In March 2007, Idaho enacted a new parental consent law to replace previous versions of the statute which have been deemed unconstitutional and unenforceable by the courts.  Planned Parenthood of Idaho, Inc. v. Wasden, 376 F.3d 908, 926 (9th Cir. 2004), cert. denied, 544 U.S. 948 (2005) (unconstitutional and unenforceable because it contained an inadequate medical emergency exception to protect a young woman's health); Planned Parenthood of Idaho, Inc. v. Wasden, 376 F. Supp. 2d 1012 (D. Idaho 2005) (granting preliminary injunction due to an undue burden on the young woman's right to choose.), appeal dismissed as moot, No. 05-36155 (9th Cir. Apr. 26, 2007).

Who is considered a minor?  A young woman under the age of 18.

What is required - parental consent or parental notice?  Consent.

Who must provide consent?  One parent.

Are there other trusted adults who may provide consent instead?  No.

What is the process for obtaining consent?  A young woman may not obtain an abortion unless the attending physician secures the written consent of one parent.

May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman is a victim of rape or incest? Yes.

May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman is a victim of child abuse?  No.

May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman's health is threatened?  Yes, but only if the attending physician certifies that a medical emergency exists.  A medical emergency is defined as "a condition which, on the basis of the physician's good faith clinical judgment, so complicates the medical condition of a pregnant woman as to necessitate the immediate abortion to avert her death or for which a delay will create serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function."  An earlier version of this law which has been declared unconstitutional by a federal court defined "medical emergency" as a "sudden and unexpected physical condition" of the young woman that is "abnormal" and necessitates an immediate abortion to preserve her life or for which a delay will create "serious risk of immediate, substantial and irreversible impairment of a major physical bodily function."  

May the parental mandate be waived under any other circumstances?  Yes, the young woman may try to obtain permission from a judge.

If a young woman must obtain permission from a judge, what is the process?  She must secure a court order stating either that, by clear and convincing evidence, she is mature and capable of giving informed consent or that an abortion without parental consent is in her best interests.

Are there other significant requirements under the law?  No.

Has a court considered the constitutionality of this law?  No.  The constitutionality of Idaho's new parental consent mandate has not been challenged.

Other information about the law:  Previous versions of this law were found unconstitutional and unenforceable.  Planned Parenthood of Idaho, Inc. v. Wasden, No. 00-353-S-MHW (D. Idaho Dec. 18, 2004); Planned Parenthood of Idaho, Inc. v. Wasden, 376 F.3d 908 (9th Cir. 2004), cert denied, 544 U.S. 948 (2005); Planned Parenthood of Idaho, Inc. v. Wasden, 376 F. Supp. 2d 1012 (9th Cir. 2005).  

Idaho Code §§ 18-602 (Enacted 2000; Renumbered 2001; Last Amended 2005), -604 (Enacted 1973; Last Amended 2006), -609A (Enacted 2000; Last Amended 2007), -609F, -609G (Enacted 2007),-614 (Enacted 2001, Last Amended 2007).


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