….It’s now a crime to help a teen under 18 leave the state for an abortion or obtain medication abortion pills without parental consent — including when the girl has been sexually assaulted or raped by a family member or parent. Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, in signing the bill, wrote that the law does not “limit an adult woman from obtaining an abortion in another state.”

Mackenzie Davidson, 19, reached out to interview state Rep. Barbara Ehardt, a Republican co-sponsor of the bill, who touted her “Christian-based” attitude during her campaign.

“She kept saying that it was about parental rights,” Davidson said. But “the thing that really caught my attention was the fact that they were calling it ‘abortion trafficking.’”

The law creates a crime of “abortion trafficking” and criminalizes the “recruiting, harboring, or transporting” of minors without parental consent. In a floor speech before the Idaho Legislature voted on the bill, Ehardt said, “We are only looking to protect our children.”

Idaho’s “teen travel ban,” as it’s known here, took effect May 5, nearly 11 months after the U.S. Supreme Court eliminated the federal constitutional right to abortion. Any adult, including an aunt, grandparent, or sibling, convicted of violating the criminal statute faces up to five years in prison. Under a separate state law, family members of the pregnant minor and the sexual partner involved can sue any health care provider who helped terminate the pregnancy for financial damages.

“If you’re successful, you’re guaranteed $20,000 minimum, and that’s per claim per relative,” said Kelly O’Neill, an Idaho litigation attorney for Legal Voice, a progressive nonprofit.

“Idaho has a lot of big families,” she added.

Under the new law, even when a parent gives consent, the person accompanying the minor would need to provide an “affirmative defense” proving they were acting with the permission of a parent of the teen.

“You could still be charged, arrested, perhaps even have to go all the way to a jury trial and prove in a courtroom that your sister gave you permission,” O’Neill said.

Legal experts say Idaho’s travel ban, based on a model bill written by National Right to Life, one of the country’s largest anti-abortion groups, is designed to sidestep implied constitutional protections for interstate travel. The law targets travel assistance within and up to the state’s border, effectively criminalizing medical care legally obtained in neighboring states.

“This is one of the next frontiers of abortion litigation,” said David Cohen, a constitutional law professor at Drexel University. “They’re clearly pushing this kind of law with other states.”

In response to potential legal threats, on April 27, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, signed a series of bills barring law enforcement from cooperating with other states’ abortion investigations. Those laws shield medical providers from lawsuits and protect their medical licenses from being revoked….

From KFF Health News.