I had this conversation with my wife yesterday about Idaho’s abortion laws. I have told this before, but she said I needed to say it again. She didn’t remember. Maybe you don’t either.
The Idaho antiabortion statutes are so confusing, even Boise State couldn’t get it right. Up here in Moscow, we are not surprised. “Who do we hate, Boise State” has not been a chant heard here for a long time, but it echoes still between the grain elevators.
In their recent poll of Idaho residents, BSU prefaced a question with the statement “Currently in Idaho, abortion is banned after six weeks of pregnancy…”. That prefacing has no basis in statute. All abortions are banned, unless the doctor can positively attest the life of the mother is in jeopardy. There is also the exception for rape, if a police report has been filed, but my State Senator is trying to remove that. The BSU professors gulped when a reporter pointed this out to them.
In my previous column, I pointed out how these laws, no longer subject to Supreme Court protection, would make me a criminal. I guess I might be spending the last of my days in Idaho Correctional facilities. I ask the local prosecutor to come knock on my door.
I’ve told this story before.
A young woman didn’t want to be pregnant. But she was pretty far along when she came to me. It turned out her baby had a deformation not compatible with life outside her womb. It was anencephalic. The baby’s brain had not developed. She also had excessive amniotic fluid. Her cervix was ripe, meaning, I thought she could soon go into labor. I explained the situation to her, that her baby would not live, but in my opinion, she should deliver. She agreed.
The next day, I ruptured the membranes that surrounded her fetus, excuse me, “preborn child”. If the Idaho Legislature has it’s “Anti-woke” way, those are the words we now should all be using.
So now I want you to read the text of Idaho statute defining an abortion:
the use of any means to intentionally terminate the clinically diagnosable pregnancy of a woman with knowledge that the termination by those means will, with reasonable likelihood, cause the death of the unborn child…I.C. § 18-604(1)
I ruptured the membranes… “any means”.
The child will die outside of the womb… “cause the death”.
I could not attest that the condition of excessive amniotic fluid would cause the death of the mother, though it does carry a risk. I am guilty.
So, all women in Idaho carrying an anencephalic “Preborn Child” will need to leave the state, unless they are comfortable having their baby without medical intervention. For that doctor could go to prison.
Maybe the frequency of this condition is so rare we should just ignore it to protect all the other “Preborn” that could be murdered. There were probably only 5-10 anencephalies in Idaho last year. But there were a few Potters Syndromes, some other chromosomal aberrancies. It’s not up to the mother, the family. The legislature knows best, don’t they?
That is where our legislature, the people we have elected, have put us. I pity the women. I feel for the families. This is a tragedy. But our representatives do not have the compassion to consider their condition. Maybe they just can’t be compassionate.
But maybe we Idahoans can. The responses to that poorly prefaced BSU poll showed that 58% of Idahoans favored offering exceptions to the misrepresented restrictions. Remember, Boise State said you could get an abortion in Idaho before six weeks of pregnancy. Legally, you cannot. Ever.
It doesn’t really matter to our elected officials just what we think. I can’t tell who the heck they are listening to.