Print Friendly HOUSE BILL NO. 161 – Abortion, woman coerced, penalty
HOUSE BILL NO. 161
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H0161.................................................by HEALTH AND WELFARE
ABORTION - Adds to existing law relating to abortion and contraceptives to
provide that it is a criminal act to coerce or attempt to coerce a woman to
obtain an abortion; to provide a duty to advise the woman of her rights and
protections; and to provide penalties.
02/09 House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/12 Rpt prt - to Health/Wel
]]]] LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ]]]]
Fifty-ninth Legislature First Regular Session - 2007
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HOUSE BILL NO. 161
BY HEALTH AND WELFARE COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO ABORTION AND CONTRACEPTIVES; AMENDING CHAPTER 6, TITLE 18, IDAHO
3 CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF A NEW SECTION 18-615, IDAHO CODE, TO PROVIDE THAT
4 IT IS A CRIMINAL ACT TO COERCE OR ATTEMPT TO COERCE A WOMAN TO OBTAIN AN
5 ABORTION, TO PROVIDE A DUTY TO ADVISE THE WOMAN OF HER RIGHTS AND PROTEC-
6 TIONS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION AND TO PROVIDE PENALTIES; AND
7 AMENDING SECTION 18-615, IDAHO CODE, TO REDESIGNATE THE SECTION.
8 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
9 SECTION 1. That Chapter 6, Title 18, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
10 hereby amended by the addition thereto of a NEW SECTION, to be known and des-
11 ignated as Section 18-615, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
12 18-615. CRIMINAL ACT TO COERCE OR ATTEMPT TO COERCE A WOMAN TO OBTAIN AN
13 ABORTION. (1) A person violates the provisions of this section when, with the
14 intent of inducing a pregnant woman to have an abortion and without regard to
15 whether the pregnant woman actually has an abortion, that person:
16 (a) Uses force or threats of force against the woman;
17 (b) Commits, attempts to commit or conspires to commit physical harm to
18 the woman;
19 (c) Withdraws, or threatens to withdraw, financial support that the per-
20 son is obligated to provide to her or for her benefit;
21 (d) Threatens during pregnancy, without a good faith basis in law, to
22 take legal action after the child is born to deprive the woman of custody
23 of her child after the birth; or
24 (e) Does or threatens to do anything that the person does not have the
25 legal right to do to or against the pregnant woman.
26 (2) Licensed health care professionals and social workers who treat,
27 examine, counsel or advise a pregnant patient or client shall, in the course
28 of their professional practice, advise the patient or client of her rights and
29 protections under the provisions of this section.
30 (3) A pregnant woman injured by reason of a person's violation of the
31 provisions of this section may bring a civil suit for recovery of damages for
32 such injury, whether or not the perpetrator is criminally prosecuted or con-
33 victed. In such a civil suit, the pregnant woman shall be entitled to recover
34 her reasonable attorney's fees and costs if she is the prevailing party.
35 (4) Violations of the provisions of this section are classified and pun-
36 ishable as follows:
37 (a) If the act includes physical contact with resulting physical injury
38 to the pregnant woman, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by
39 imprisonment for not more than five (5) years, or a fine of not more than
40 five thousand dollars ($5,000) or both such imprisonment and fine.
41 (b) If the act does not include physical contact resulting in physical
42 injury to the pregnant woman, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor pun-
43 ishable by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, or a fine of not
1 more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or both such imprisonment and
3 (5) The term "woman" in this section includes a minor female.
4 SECTION 2. That Section 18-615, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby
5 amended to read as follows:
6 18-61 56. SEVERABILITY. If any one (1) or more provision, section, subsec-
7 tion, sentence, clause, phrase, or word of this chapter or the application
8 thereof to any person or circumstance is found to be unconstitutional, the
9 same is hereby declared to be severable and the balance of this chapter shall
10 remain effective notwithstanding such unconstitutionality. The legislature
11 hereby declares that it would have passed every section of this chapter and
12 each provision, section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or word thereof
13 irrespective of the fact that any one (1) or more provision, section, subsec-
14 tion, sentence, clause, phrase or word be declared unconstitutional.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
This legislation seeks to make clear that it is illegal to coerce
or otherwise force a woman or girl into aborting her baby.
Research indicates that violence against pregnant women is a
serious problem all across the nation. Many women report that
they felt coerced into abortion and have suffered grievous and
psychological harm in subsequent years. While this legislation
addresses only the most egregious forms of coercion, its intent
is to empower all Idaho mothers to choose life for their preborn
Name: Rep. Bob Nonini
Phone: 332 1000
Sen. Monty Pearce
Sen. Shirley McKague
Rep. Peter Nielsen
Rep. Lynn Luker
Rep. Ken Andrus
Rep. Russ Mathews
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/FISCAL NOTE H 161