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Abortion-Targeting Measure Surfaces at Idaho Statehouse

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PLANNED PARENTHOOD
  • Planned Parenthood


As expected, abortion opponents unveiled proposed legislation Wednesday, designed to limit abortion procedures in Idaho.

House Bill 516 would require the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to distribute a list of free ultrasound providers and include language that a "woman has a right to obtain a free ultrasound, view an ultrasound image and hear tone monitoring, and to provide that no abortion be performed unless the woman is informed prior to the abortion that ultrasound imaging and heart tone monitoring are available."

Four years ago, abortion opponents led by Idaho anti-abortion crusader Brandi Swindell conducted a controversial demonstration at the Idaho Statehouse, where they secured a legislative hearing room to conduct a live ultrasound of a woman and invited lawmakers "into the womb."  

The demonstration shadowed a proposal that would have required all Idaho women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound. The proposed measure was ultimately pulled by Idaho GOP leadership.

Prior to the 2016 legislative session, Hannah Brass Greer, Idaho legislative director and public affairs manager for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, said she expected to defend her organization and its mission at the Statehouse.

"I expect at least one bill [in this year's legislative session] limiting abortion access," Greer said. "We remain vigilant and ready to fight any proposal that seeks to limit access to reproductive health care, including attacks on access to abortion or against Planned Parenthood as a provider of high quality reproductive health care to thousands in Idaho."

HB 516 was introduced to the Idaho House State Affairs Committee on Feb. 17. The Republican majority voted to advance the measure to a full public hearing on the proposal.