The Idaho Senate gave final approval to ICL’s Reporting bill (HB 638) last Wednesday afternoon. This landmark bill will create – for the first time – a comprehensive reporting system on the physical and emotional after-shocks of abortion. The bill requires every doctor, counselor or hospital that treats a woman for post-abortion complications to report that fact to the Department of Health & Welfare. The Department is then required to compile and publish an annual report.
Based upon model legislation developed by Americans United for Life, HB 638 will give Idaho policy makers – for the first time – an accurate understanding of what women go through after they choose abortion. It is rather shocking to realize that, some 45 years into the Roe v. Wade era – virtually everything we think we know about abortion and its impact on women comes from the abortion industry. Not exactly an unbiased source.
Photo: Following Approval of HB 638 by Senate State Affairs Committee earlier this week.
From L-R: Julie Lynde, ICL Ex Director David Ripley, Rep. Greg Chaney, Karey Uhlenkott, Sen. Fred Martin
The Senate floor debate was hot and heavy. Sadly, a number of normally pro-Life legislators voted against the bill. Senate sponsor Fred Martin (R-Boise) valiantly weathered some 3 hours of questions and debate over the legislation. We are grateful for his courage and leadership in defending a great piece of legislation.
Emmett’s Steven Thayn raised concerns about the burden on doctors and the fact that paperwork is helping to drive up health care costs. He claimed that he might like to support the legislation, but that HB 638 “went too far”. By that, he meant that the reporting requirements in the bill do not have a time limit. He was one of eight Republican senators who sided with Planned Parenthood by voting ‘no’. It was a heartbreaking moment.
Apparently Senator Thayn is willing to learn a little about the health risks of abortion – but not too much. Unfortunately for women, many of the health risks associated with abortion don’t materialize for years. The research linking abortion to breast cancer, for example, shows us that breast cancer may take many years to develop. And even more mid-term problems can take several years: An overwhelming body of scientific research suggests that an abortion history can complicate future pregnancies. Why would we not want that hard data? Don’t women deserve to know both the short and long term risks they assume when accept the seductive promises of Planned Parenthood?
Thankfully, there were heroes during the floor fight over this legislation as well: Sen. Chuck Winder, Sen. Jim Rice, Sen. Dan Foreman, Sen. Mary Souza and Sen. Marv Hagedorn. They rose to help Sen. Martin, and to support the bill with a clear vision of why it will be such a critical step forward for Idaho’s women and the fight for Life.
For years we have fought to establish an Informed Consent procedure in Idaho. We have fought to create a booklet that women are given before an abortion; we have established a waiting period. This springs from the State’s primary duty to protect the health and safety of its citizens. But the glaring problem is that we know so little about the real world risks of abortion. So much of the debate is politically charged. The State has a clear duty to find out the health care risks associated with abortion – especially now that we are one of only two states allowing “remote control” abortions via the internet.
Please join us in thanking those legislators who supported this vitally important bill. And please take a moment to ask Governor Otter to sign this legislation. You can leave him a message by phoning 208-334-2100.