Planned Parenthood and ACLU Ask Court to Block Idaho's Third Attempt at Restricting Teenagers' Access to Abortion

Affiliate: ACLU of Idaho
April 18, 2005 12:00 am

ACLU Affiliate
ACLU of Idaho
Media Contact
125 Broad Street
18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
United States


BOISE, ID — Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the American Civil Liberties Union today asked a district court in Idaho to block the state’s third attempt at enforcing a dangerous measure restricting teenagers’ access to abortion.

“As with previous versions, this law fails to protect the health and safety of the most vulnerable teens,” said Rebecca Poedy, President of Planned Parenthood of Idaho. “In particular, the law jeopardizes teens in need of emergency abortions, either delaying their care or deterring them from seeking care in the first place.”

The law in question prevents teens under 18 from having an abortion unless they receive the written consent of a parent or a court waiver of that requirement. Although slightly modified from earlier versions, the new law reenacts two provisions previously declared unconstitutional by the court: It requires a physician to notify a teen’s parents after performing an emergency abortion, and it requires that every teen seeking a waiver be reported to law enforcement.

“In blatant defiance of earlier court rulings, the Idaho legislature adopted yet another dangerous, extreme, and unconstitutional measure restricting teens’ access to abortion,” said Marty Durand, Legislative Counsel for the ACLU of Idaho. “When will the state stop this costly and reckless behavior?”

Just last month, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Idaho’s request to review the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s ruling striking down an earlier version of the law because it endangered teenagers’ health. The legislature responded by immediately enacting a nearly identical measure, which Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are challenging in court today.

“Like its predecessors, this law violates teens’ confidentiality,” said Helene Krasnoff, an attorney with Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “The Supreme Court has made clear that laws restricting teens’ access to abortion must give teens the option of going to court to seek a confidential waiver. This law does not meet that requirement.”

Today’s case is Planned Parenthood of Idaho v. Wasden, Case No. CV05-xxx. Lawyers on the case include Krasnoff and Roger Evans of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Louise Melling and Chakshu Patel of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, and Alan Herzfeld for the ACLU of Idaho Foundation.

The ACLU and Planned Parenthood brief in the case is available online at: /node/35060.

Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.

The Latest in Reproductive Freedom

ACLU's Vision

The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.

Learn More About Reproductive Freedom

Reproductive Freedom issue image

The ACLU works to ensure that every person can make the best decision for themselves and their family about whether and when to have a child without undue political interference.