CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS
ABORTION AND CONTRACEPTIVES
18-609. Physicians and hospitals not to incur civil liability — Consent to abortion — Notice. (1) Any physician may perform an abortion not prohibited by this act and any hospital or other facility described in section 18-608, Idaho Code, may provide facilities for such procedures without, in the absence of negligence, incurring civil liability therefor to any person including, but not limited to, the pregnant patient and the prospective father of the fetus to have been born in the absence of abortion, if informed consent for such abortion has been duly given by the pregnant patient.
(2) In order to provide assistance in assuring that the consent to an abortion is truly informed consent, the director of the department of health and welfare shall publish easily comprehended, nonmisleading and medically accurate printed material to be made available at no expense to physicians, hospitals or other facilities providing abortion and abortion-related services, and which shall contain the following:
(a) Descriptions of the services available to assist a woman through a pregnancy, at childbirth and while the child is dependent, including adoption services, a comprehensive list of the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of public and private agencies that provide such services and financial aid available;
(b) Descriptions of the physical characteristics of a normal fetus, described at two (2) week intervals, beginning with the fourth week and ending with the twenty-fourth week of development, accompanied by scientifically verified photographs of a fetus during such stages of development. The description shall include information about physiological and anatomical characteristics;
(c) Descriptions of the abortion procedures used in current medical practices at the various stages of growth of the fetus and any reasonable foreseeable complications and risks to the mother, including those related to subsequent childbearing;
(d) A list, compiled by the department of health and welfare, of health care providers, facilities and clinics that offer to perform ultrasounds free of charge and that have contacted the department annually with a request to be included in the list. The list shall be arranged geographically and shall include the name, address, hours of operation, telephone number and e-mail address of each entity;
(e) A statement that the patient has a right to view an ultrasound image and to observe the heartbeat monitoring of her unborn child and that she may obtain an ultrasound free of charge. The statement shall indicate that printed materials required by the provisions of this section contain a list, compiled by the department of health and welfare, of health care providers, facilities and clinics that offer to perform such ultrasounds free of charge;
(f) Information directing the patient where to obtain further information and assistance in locating a health care provider whom she can consult about chemical abortion, including the interventions, if any, that may affect the effectiveness or reversal of a chemical abortion, and informs the patient that if she wants to consult with such health care providers, she should contact those health care providers before she takes the abortifacient; and
(g) A section specific to unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome in order to help educate mothers about the development of children with Down syndrome and the resources available in both the private and public sectors to assist parents of children with Down syndrome with the delivery and care of a child born with Down syndrome. The section shall include:
(i) Easily comprehended, medically accurate information regarding the development of a child with Down syndrome, including treatment and therapy strategies available during a pregnancy and after birth; and
(ii) Descriptions of the services available to assist Idaho families with children born with Down syndrome, including adoption services, support agencies, and organizations in both the public and private sectors. Such directory shall include the name, address, telephone number, website, and email address of agencies, ministries, and organizations that provide financial, medical, emotional, and spiritual support services to mothers and families with a child with Down syndrome.
The department shall ensure that a Spanish language version of the informed consent materials required in this subsection is made available to women considering an abortion.
(3) (a) The department of health and welfare shall develop and maintain a stable internet website, that may be part of an existing website, to provide the information described in subsection (2) of this section. No information regarding persons using the website shall be collected or maintained. The department of health and welfare shall monitor the website on a weekly basis to prevent and correct tampering.
(b) As used in this section, "stable internet website" means a website that, to the extent reasonably practicable, is safeguarded from having its content altered other than by the department of health and welfare.
(c) When a pregnant patient contacts a physician by telephone or visit and inquires about obtaining an abortion, the physician or the physician’s agent before or while scheduling an abortion-related appointment must provide the woman with the address of the state-sponsored internet website on which the printed materials described in subsection (2) of this section may be viewed as required in subsection (2) of this section.
(4) Except in the case of a medical emergency, no abortion shall be performed unless, prior to the abortion, the attending physician or the attending physician’s agent certifies in writing that the materials provided by the director have been provided to the pregnant patient at least twenty-four (24) hours before the performance of the abortion. If the materials are not available from the director of the department of health and welfare, no certification shall be required. The attending physician, or the attending physician’s agent, shall provide any other information required under this act.
(5) Except in the case of medical emergency, no abortion shall be performed unless, prior to an initial consultation or any testing, and not less than twenty-four (24) hours prior to the performance of the abortion, the woman is informed by telephone or in person, by the physician who is to perform the abortion or by an agent of the physician, that ultrasound imaging and heartbeat monitoring are available to the woman enabling the pregnant woman to view her unborn child or observe the heartbeat of the unborn child. The physician or agent of the physician shall inform the pregnant woman that the website and printed materials described in subsection (2)(d), (e) and (f) of this section contain telephone numbers, addresses and e-mail addresses of facilities that offer such services at no cost. If the woman contacts the abortion facility by e-mail, the physician or agent of the physician shall inform the woman of the requirements of this subsection by e-mail with the required information in a larger font than the rest of the e-mail. No fee for an abortion shall be collected prior to providing the information required in this subsection.
(6) All physicians or their agents who use ultrasound equipment in the performance of an abortion shall inform the patient that she has the right to view the ultrasound image of her unborn child before an abortion is performed. If the patient requests to view the ultrasound image, she shall be allowed to view it before an abortion is performed. The physician or agent shall also offer to provide the patient with a physical picture of the ultrasound image of her unborn child prior to the performance of the abortion, and shall provide it if requested by the patient. In addition to providing the material, the attending physician may provide the pregnant patient with such other information which in the attending physician’s judgment is relevant to the pregnant patient’s decision as to whether to have the abortion or carry the pregnancy to term.
(7) Within thirty (30) days after performing any abortion without certification and delivery of the materials, the attending physician, or the attending physician’s agent, shall cause to be delivered to the director of the department of health and welfare, a report signed by the attending physician, preserving the patient’s anonymity, denoting the medical emergency that excused compliance with the duty to deliver the materials. The director of the department of health and welfare shall compile the information annually and report to the public the total number of abortions performed in the state where delivery of the materials was excused; provided that any information so reported shall not identify any physician or patient in any manner which would reveal their identities.
(8) If section 18-608(3), Idaho Code, applies to the abortion to be performed and the pregnant patient is an adult and for any reason unable to give a valid consent thereto, the requirement for that pregnant patient’s consent shall be met as required by law for other medical or surgical procedures and shall be determined in consideration of the desires, interests and welfare of the pregnant patient.
(9) The knowing failure of the attending physician to perform any one (1) or more of the acts required under subsection (7) of this section or section 39-261, Idaho Code, is grounds for discipline pursuant to section 54-1814(6), Idaho Code, and shall subject the physician to assessment of a civil penalty of one hundred dollars ($100) for each month or portion thereof that each such failure continues, payable to the vital statistics unit of the department of health and welfare, but such failure shall not constitute a criminal act.
[18-609, added 1973, ch. 197, sec. 8, p. 442; am. 1982, ch. 242, sec. 1, p. 628; am. 1983, ch. 149, sec. 1, p. 403; am. 2000, ch. 7, sec. 4, p. 13; am. 2006, ch. 438, sec. 3, p. 1324; am. 2007, ch. 224, sec. 1, p. 676; am. 2008, ch. 348, sec. 1, p. 958; am. 2016, ch. 283, sec. 1, p. 782; am. 2018, ch. 159, sec. 1, p. 315; am. 2021, ch. 258, sec. 3, p. 794.]