A summary of 2018 Pro-Life successes in the Idaho Legislature

By Kerry Uhlenkott, Legislative Coordinator, Right to Life of Idaho

Idaho Gov. Butch Otter

You may have already read that Gov. Butch Otter signed both SB 1243 Abortion Pill Reversal Informed Consent and HB 638 Reporting of Abortion Complications into law.

Both of these laws will go into effect on July 1. We can be very proud of Gov. Otter; he will leave a strong pro-life legacy when he retires from office this year.

SB 1243 sponsored by Right to Life of Idaho, requires that a woman be informed that if she changes her mind after taking the first abortion pill, there is a possibility she may be able to reverse the chemical abortion procedure. The Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare is required to include this information in the informed consent materials that any woman contemplating an abortion will receive 24 hours before having an abortion.

The prime legislative sponsors were Sen. Lori Den Hartog and Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt. Right to Life of Idaho is so very grateful to them for their pro-life hearts and for their diligent work on behalf of this legislation.

We thank all who came to testify on behalf of this legislation especially Dr. Matthew Harrison who performed the first abortion pill reversal in 2006 in North Carolina, and Rebekah Buell, an abortion pill reversal mother and her son, Zachariah. We thank Terry Lennox, RN, Angie Dwyer of Stanton Healthcare in Boise, and Dori Sanstrom of Stanton Healthcare in Twin Falls.

HB 638 sponsored by Idaho Chooses Life will expand the reporting law to require reporting for abortion complications for any abortion by all medical facilities, including hospitals and emergency rooms. Under current law, reporting of abortion complications is “optional” for only the abortion clinics themselves, such as Planned Parenthood.

The prime legislative sponsors were Rep. Greg Chaney and Sen. Fred Martin. Many thanks to them for their huge pro-life effort on behalf of this legislation.

In addition, to passing these two bills, the Pro-life Coalition was successful in stopping the advancement of HB 563. This was a Medicaid expansion bill that would have provided federal and state funding of approximately $29 million to Plan First Idaho for “family planning services and supplies” for indigent women between 19 and 44 who are ineligible for Medicare, Medicaid or health insurance that covers family planning services. This essentially would have provided backdoor funding for Planned Parenthood because Planned Parenthood is a Medicaid eligible recipient.

HB 563 stated that “family planning services and supplies would not include abortions.”

We would like to thank the Pro-life Coalition that worked together to pass these pro-life bills. It includes: Christian Welp with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise, Julie Lynde with the Family Policy Alliance, David Ripley with Idaho Chooses Life, Karen Simkins and members of Idaho United 4 Life, the Knights of Columbus, Stanton Healthcare of Boise & Magic Valley and members of Right to Life of Idaho.

And to all of you who have been emailing or calling this session to support pro-life legislation, we thank you! May God bless you always.