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State Laws

Idaho


Political Information

Executive (Governor)

Anti-choice

Legislative

Anti-choice

Abortion-Care Policies

Abortion Providers

Abortion Providers: Restrictions

Idaho imposes extra restrictions on abortion providers, despite the fact that all health-care providers already must comply with a variety of federal and state regulations governing health, safety, building and fire codes, and zoning requirements.

Restrictions on Where Abortion Services May Be Provided

Among the most common TRAP regulations are those restricting the provision of abortion services to hospitals or other specialized facilities, which require doctors to obtain medically unnecessary additional licenses, needlessly convert their practices to mini-hospitals at great expense, or provide abortion services only in hospitals, an impossibility in many parts of the country.

Idaho has an unconstitutional requirement that all second-trimester abortion services be provided in a hospital.  Idaho Code § 18-608(2) (Enacted 1973).

The U.S. Supreme Court held that a strict second-trimester hospitalization requirement unconstitutionally burdens a woman’s right to choose.  Akron v. Akron Ctr. for Reprod. Health, 462 U.S. 416 (1983).

The Idaho attorney general has concluded that Idaho’s second-trimester hospitalization requirement is unconstitutional.  Idaho Op. Att’y Gen. No. 98-1 (Jan. 26, 1998).

Idaho law also requires that providers have "satisfactory" transfer arrangements with one or more acute-care hospitals within reasonable proximity.  The provision makes no exception for clinics in rural areas, or if no local hospitals will agree to a transfer arrangement.  Idaho Code § 18-608 (1) (Enacted 1973).

Restrictions on Who May Provide Abortion Services

Idaho prohibits certain qualified health-care professionals from providing abortion services.

Only a physician licensed by the state to practice medicine and surgery or osteopathic medicine and surgery may provide abortion care.  Idaho Code § 18-604(5) (Enacted 1973; Last Renumbered 2000; Last Amended 2006); Idaho Code § 18-608 (Enacted 1973), Idaho Code § 18-608A (Enacted 2000).  


Parental Notice

Iowa law restricts young women’s access to abortion.

Is the law enforceable?  Yes.  A federal trial court held that this law is constitutional.  Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa, Inc. v. Miller, No. 4-96-CV-10877 (S.D. Iowa Oct. 16, 1997).

Who is considered a minor?  A young woman who is under the age of 18 and has never been married.

What is required – parental consent or parental notice?  Notice.

Who must be notified?  One parent.

Are there other trusted adults who may be notified instead?  Yes, a grandparent, but the grandparent may be subject to a civil lawsuit if s/he accepts notification.

What is the process for providing notification?  A young woman may not obtain an abortion until at least 48 hours after written notice is provided in person or by certified mail by the attending physician to a parent or grandparent.  The 48-hour period begins to run at noon on the next day on which regular mail delivery takes place.  Parental notice is not required if the parent authorizes the abortion in writing.  If the minor notifies a grandparent in lieu of a parent, the minor must submit in writing to a physician her reason for not notifying a parent as well as her reason for notifying a grandparent.  In addition, the notice form must state that grandparents may be subject to civil action if they accept notification and that they may refuse to accept notification.

May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman is a victim of rape or incest?  Yes, if the young woman declares that she is a victim of reported sexual abuse.

May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman is a victim of child abuse?  Yes, if the young woman declares that she is a victim of child abuse and such abuse has been reported or that the parent is named in a report of child abuse.

May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman’s health is threatened?  Yes, but only if the attending physician certifies in writing that a medical emergency exists. A medical emergency is defined as a medical condition of the pregnant woman that necessitates an immediate abortion to preserve her life or for which a delay will create a "risk of serious impairment of a major 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 she is mature and capable of giving informed consent or that parental notice is not in her best interests.

Are there other significant requirements under the law?  Yes.  Before providing abortion care to a young woman, a physician must offer, and obtain written certification that she has been offered, written decision-making materials, including a workbook and a video presentation that includes information about her options, including continuing the pregnancy to term and retaining parental rights, adoption, and abortion.  The video must explain that public and private agencies are available to assist the young woman with any alternative chosen and that the "father" is liable for child support.  The written decision-making materials must include information about the options described in the video including the agencies and programs available to provide assistance to the young woman in parenting a child, information on adoption and abortion, information regarding the "father’s" liability for child support, and other support options.  To the extent possible and at the discretion of the young woman, the person "responsible for impregnating" her must be present for the viewing of the video and the receiving of the written decision-making materials.  In addition, the young woman is to be encouraged to choose a responsible adult also to be present.

Has a court considered the constitutionality of this law?  Yes.  A court denied both a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction, allowing the law to remain in effect.  Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa, Inc. v. Miller, No. 4-96-CV-10877 (S.D. Iowa Oct. 16, 1997).

Other information about the law:  None.

Iowa Code Ann. §§ 135L.1, .6 to .8 (Enacted 1996; Last Amended 1997), 135L.2, .3 (Enacted 1996; Last Amended 1998).


Abortion Rights

Abortion Bans Throughout Pregnancy: Ban by Week

Idaho bans abortion after 20 weeks without an adequate exception to protect women’s health or for cases in which the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.  Idaho Code § 18-501 to 18-510 (Enacted 2011).  

Idaho’s law makes abortion after 20 weeks a felony of an undefined class, unless necessary to save a woman’s life or to avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function, not including psychological or emotional conditions, or to preserve the viability of another fetus.  In addition, the law allows the woman or the man involved in the pregnancy to bring a civil suit for damages against the physician.  It also allows the woman, her parents, her husband, her siblings, her other health-care providers, or the state attorney general to file for injunctive relief blocking the abortion provider from providing abortion care after 20 weeks in future instances.  Idaho Code § 18-501 to 18-510 (Enacted 2011).

A judge found the ban unconstitutional, permanently blocking its enforcement. McCormack v. Hiedeman, F.Supp.2d, 2011 WL 9150843, D. Idaho, (2011). The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld that decision. McCormack v. Herzog, 2015 WL 3429396 (9th Cir. May 29, 2015).


Abortion Bans Throughout Pregnancy: Procedure Ban

Idaho has an unconstitutional and unenforceable ban that outlaws abortion procedures as early as 12 weeks.  Idaho Code §§ 18-605 (Enacted 1973; Last Amended 2001), 18-613 (Enacted 1998).

This law makes any abortion procedure that falls within a broad definition a felony punishable by a fine of up to $5000, imprisonment for two to five years, or both, and – if the person is licensed or certified to provide health care – professional discipline and a civil penalty.  The law has an exception if the abortion is necessary to save a woman’s life endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury.  Idaho Code § 18-605 (Enacted 1973; Last Amended 2001).

A court held the ban on care provided as early as 12 weeks unconstitutional because its language is "void for vagueness," and because the ban has no exception to protect women’s health.  The court issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the law’s enforcement.  Weyhrich v. Lance, No. CV98-0117-S-BLW (D. Idaho Oct. 12, 1999).  The U.S. Supreme Court held that a similar ban that has no exception to protect a woman’s health and that bans more than one procedure is unconstitutional.  Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 (2000).

There is also a Federal Abortion Ban, which applies nationwide regardless of state law.  The federal ban prohibits certain second-trimester abortion procedures and has no exception for a woman’s health.  In April 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ban, making it the first time since Roe v. Wade that the court has upheld a ban on a previability abortion procedure.  Click here to read more about the Federal Abortion Ban.


Post-Viability Ban

Idaho has an unconstitutional and unenforceable provision in its law that states that no abortion may be provided after viability, construed as when a fetus is "potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid," unless the attending physician and another consulting physician concur that an abortion is necessary to preserve the woman’s life or that the fetus, if born, would be unable to survive.  Consistent with accepted medical practice and with the well-being and safety of the woman, the physician must provide the procedure in a manner consistent with the "preservation of any reasonable potential for survival of a viable fetus."  Idaho Code §§ 18-604(13) (Enacted 1973; Last Amended 2000; Renumbered 2006), 18-604(14) (Enacted 1973; Last Amended 2000; Renumbered 2006), 18-608(3) (Enacted 1973; Last Amended 2000).

This law unconstitutionally prohibits post-viability abortion necessary to preserve the woman’s health.  See Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 165 (1973).  The Idaho attorney general has issued an opinion that this lack of a health exception is unconstitutional.  Idaho Op. Att’y Gen. No. 98-1 (Jan. 26, 1998).

NARAL Pro-Choice America supports the legal framework established in Roe v. Wade and does not oppose restrictions on post-viability abortion so long as they contain adequate exceptions to protect the woman’s life and health.  NARAL Pro-Choice America opposes Idaho’s post-viability restriction because it does not contain an exception to protect the health of the woman.


Biased Counseling

Biased Counseling

Idaho law states that a woman may not obtain an abortion until the physician provides her with an "accurate and substantially complete explanation" of:  (1) a description of the proposed procedure; (2) any reasonably foreseeable complications and risks associated with the proposed procedure, including those related to future reproductive health; and (3) the comparable risks associated with each alternative to such procedure, including childbirth and adoption.

In addition, a woman may not obtain an abortion until, if reasonably possible, at least 24 hours after she has been provided with "non-misleading and medically accurate" state-prepared materials that must include:  (1) photographs of a fetus and descriptions of its anatomical and physiological characteristics at two-week intervals; (2) a description of services available to assist a woman throughout pregnancy, upon childbirth, and while a child is dependent, including adoption services, and a comprehensive list of public and private agencies providing such services; (3) descriptions of the procedures used at the various stages of pregnancy; and (4) foreseeable risks and complications of the procedures, including those related to subsequent childbearing. Idaho Code §§ 18-604, -609 (Enacted 1973; Last Amended 2007).

The Idaho attorney general has issued an opinion stating that the state-prepared materials provision, including the 24-hour waiting period, is constitutional.  Idaho Op. Att’y Gen. No. 93-1 (Feb. 10, 1993).


Mandatory Delays

Mandatory Delay

Idaho requires a woman seeking an abortion to wait at least 24 hours between the time she receives biased-counseling materials and when she can get the procedure. Idaho Code §§ 18-604, -609 (Enacted 1973; Last Amended 2007).

The Idaho attorney general has issued an opinion stating that the state-prepared materials provision, including the 24-hour waiting period, is constitutional.  Idaho Op. Att’y Gen. No. 93-1 (Feb. 10, 1993).


Insurance Coverage & Abortion

Prohibits Abortion Coverage in the State

Does Idaho prohibit statewide private insurance coverage of abortion services?

Yes.  Private health-insurance plans offered in the state, including disability insurance policies, individual insurance policies, and managed-care plans, may not include abortion coverage, with an exception only to save a woman’s life.  In some cases, abortion coverage may be obtained through an optional rider for which an additional premium is paid.  However, insurers are not required to offer such riders and there is no evidence that such separate policies exist. (Even if they did exist, offering women the "option" to pay for separate abortion coverage is a false promise because no one plans for an unplanned pregnancy.)  Idaho Code § 41-2142, 41-2210A, 41-3439 (Enacted 1983); Idaho Code § 41-3924 (Enacted 1983; Last Amended 1997).


Prohibits Abortion Coverage in the Insurance Exchange

Does Idaho expressly prohibit plans in its state exchange from covering abortion services?

Yes.  Health-insurance policies offered in the state health-insurance exchange may not include abortion coverage, with exceptions only to save a woman’s life or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.  Nothing in the law prohibits the purchase of abortion coverage through an optional rider for which an additional premium is paid.  However, insurers are not required to offer such riders and there is no evidence that such separate policies exist. (Even if they did exist, offering women the "option" to pay for separate abortion coverage is a false promise because no one plans for an unplanned pregnancy.)  Idaho Code §41-1848 (Enacted 2011).


Low-Income Women & Abortion

Restricts Low-Income Women’s Access to Abortion

Idaho prohibits public funding for abortion for women eligible for state medical assistance for general health care unless the procedure is necessary to preserve the woman’s life or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.  In cases of rape or incest, a woman must provide documentation that rape or incest was reported to a law-enforcement agency, a copy of court determination of rape or incest, a written certification from the physician that the woman was unable to report the rape or incest for reasons related to her health, or documentation that the woman was under the age of 18 at the time the act of rape or incest occured.  Idaho Code § 56-209c; Idaho Admin. Code § 16.03.09.511-514 (Amended April 2011); Idaho Dep’t of Health and Welfare, Medicaid Provider Handbook, Physician Guidelines §§ 3.10.1-4 (Rev. Ma7 2013) at https://www.idmedicaid.com/Provider%20Guide/Provider%20Handbook.aspx.  A bill that passed in 2011 removed a provision that permitted funding if a physician documented that the woman was under the age of 18 at the time the act of rape or incest occurred. Id. Admin. Code § 16.03.09.514.01.d (Repealed by H.C.R.23, 61st Leg., 1st. Reg. Sess (Idaho 2011)).

A court held that this law is constitutional under the Idaho Constitution, finding that Idaho may provide medical assistance for pregnancy-related expenses while refusing to fund abortion services necessary to preserve a woman’s health.  However, the court held unconstitutional a provision requiring two-physician certification for the life, rape, and incest exceptions.  Planned Parenthood of Idaho, Inc. v. Kurtz, No. CVOC0103909D (Idaho Dist. Ct. June 12, 2002).


Young Women & Abortion

Parental Consent

  

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).  


Family-Planning Policies

Insurance Coverage & Contraception

No state measure.

Low-Income Women & Contraception

No state measure.

Emergency Contraception

No state measure.

Other Important Issues

Clinic Protections

No state measure.

Crisis Pregnancy Centers

State Refers to Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Idaho law refers women to crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs). In connection with the state’s biased-counseling and mandatory-delay law, the department of health and welfare must publish a state-maintained list of facilities that perform free ultrasounds. CPCs are included on the list without disclaimer of their biased nature and are not distinguished from legitimate health centers.  H.B.516 (Enacted 2016), Idaho Code § 18-609. Idaho Department of Health & Welfare, Free Ultrasound Provider List, Aug. 1, 2016.


Refusals & Guarantees

Refusals of Medical Care

ABORTION REFUSAL CLAUSE

Idaho allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to provide abortion services.

To whom does the refusal clause apply?  Physicians, nurses, technicians, hospital or physician employees, or any person licensed, certified or registered by the state of Idaho to deliver health care.

What does the refusal clause allow?  Allows physicians to refuse to provide or assist in providing abortion services.  Allows nurses, technicians, hospital employees, physicians’ employees, or any person licensed, certified or registered by the state of Idaho to deliver health care, who objects on personal, moral, religious, or ethical grounds, to refuse to provide, assist in providing, counsel on, or refer for abortion care.  Any person intending to refuse to provide such services must state such objection in writing.

Allows hospitals upon objection by its governing board to refuse to admit a woman or to furnish facilities for the purpose of abortion care.  The refusal to participate or admit may not be a basis for a claim for damages or recriminatory action.

Must the refusal be in writing?  Yes.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to notify the persons affected?  No.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised?  Yes, only in life-threatening situations.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for abortion services?  No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause?  No.

Idaho Code § 18-611 (Enacted 2010, Amended 2011) and § 18-612 (Enacted 1973).

BIRTH-CONTROL REFUSAL CLAUSE

Idaho allows certain individuals to refuse to provide birth control.

To whom does the refusal clause apply?  Any person licensed, certified or registered by the state of Idaho to deliver health care.

What does the refusal clause allow?  No person licensed, certified or registered by the state of Idaho to deliver health care, who objects on personal, moral, religious, or ethical grounds, may be required to provide, assist in providing, counsel on, or refer for any health-care service.  Any person intending to refuse to provide such services must state such objection in writing.

Must the refusal be in writing?  Yes.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to notify the persons affected?  No.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised?  Yes.  Health-care professionals must provide services in life-threatening situations when no other no other health-care professional capable of treating the emergency is available, until such an alternate provider is available.  In addition, the law specifies that employers cannot discriminate against health-care professionals based on their intention to refuse to provide certain services unless the employer "can demonstrate that such accommodation poses an undue hardship."

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for abortion services?  No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause?  No.

Idaho Code § 18-611 (Enacted 2010, Amended 2011).

STERILIZATION REFUSAL CLAUSE

Idaho allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to provide or participate in sterilization procedures.

To whom does the refusal clause apply?  Physicians, nurses, technicians, hospitals, or governmental agency employees.

What does the refusal clause allow?  Allows physicians, nurses, technicians, or other employee of any physician, hospital, or governmental agency, who object on religious or moral grounds, to refuse to participate in any sterilization procedures.  Any such objection must be in writing and state the grounds for such objection.

Allows hospitals to refuse to furnish facilities or admit patients for sterilization procedures if, upon determination by its governing board, it elects no to do so.  The refusal to participate or admit may not be a basis for a claim for damages or recriminatory action.

Must the refusal be in writing?  Yes.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to notify the persons affected?  No.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised?  No.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for sterilizing procedures?  No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause?  No.

Idaho Code § 39-3915 (Enacted 2003).


Counseling & Referral Bans

No state measure.

Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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