Updated Jan. 31
By Melissa Davlin, Idaho Reports
In Idaho, two similar proposals are generating chatter: One from freshman Sen. Dan Foreman that would classify abortion as first-degree murder, and a petition circulating that would do the same. Both would open the door for charging doctors and women with murder for providing or seeking an abortion.
But neither has the backing of one of the state’s most influential anti-abortion organizations.
Right to Life of Idaho does not support any action that would criminalize women for abortion, said Kerry Uhlenkott, legislative coordinator for Right to Life of Idaho.
“Subjecting women to criminal penalties for an abortion is inconsistent with the historic pro-life position,” Right to Life of Idaho said in a statement sent to Idaho Reports. “We have never supported legislation containing criminal penalties for women. We stand with women and men to offer them realistic alternatives to abortion.”
Abolish Abortion Idaho responded to RTLI’s opposition with two statements: One addressing whether most women are coerced into abortion, and one addressing whether women who seek abortions should be exempt from murder charges. You can read both on AAI’s website.
Read RTLI’s full statement below.
“Right to Life of Idaho does not support any legislative action that would subject women to criminal penalties for an abortion.
Based on our experience and the experience of our 19 Idaho Pregnancy Care Centers and hearing the stories of thousands of post-abortive women and couples, we are convinced that abortion is most often a tragically desperate act. Available research indicates that coercion is often a factor in over 64% of the cases when women experience abortion. Despite rhetoric from advocates of abortion on demand, abortion is most often NOT freely chosen by women. Many woman come to deeply regret the loss of their child to abortion.
Subjecting women to criminal penalties for an abortion is inconsistent with the historic pro-life position. We have never supported legislation containing criminal penalties for women. We stand with women and men to offer them realistic alternatives to abortion. We stand with our Pregnancy Care Centers that daily provide compassion and hope to women who consider abortion in a moment of desperation.”