The Abortion Complications Reporting Act (HB 638), modeled on legislation developed by Americans United for Life, will require every doctor and hospital who treats a woman for a complication from an abortion to file a report with the state Department of Health & Welfare. We first brought this legislation because of a lawsuit the state lost a year ago on chemical abortions. Our legislation to ban “tele-med” abortions was lost in federal court because the state was unable to present enough information about the health risks of chemical abortions.
Federal law requires a report to be filed if there is a problem with RU-486. But the FDA under Obama refused to release the data. In fact, the FDA has not released a report on problems with chemical abortions since 2011.
But as we got deeper into the battle, it became clear that the need for a comprehensive reporting system went well beyond the problem with “tele-med” abortions. Strange as it may seem – the simple fact is that everything we think we know about abortion and its risks comes from the Abortion Industry itself. For some 45 years, abortion has been shrouded in secrecy. Planned Parenthood has fought every attempt to make sure that women and girls know about the risks of abortion, about their genuine choices.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard Planned Parenthood lobbyists stand in front of a legislative committee and boldly declare, “Abortion is safer than childbirth”. Therefore, we don’t need informed consent laws. We don’t need reporting laws. We don’t need health inspections of our abortion shops. Trust us.
HB 638 will finally help us get to the truth.
Americans United for Life joined us in celebrating the passage of Idaho’s new law. They sent out a national email lauding Idaho for passage of the bill: “We at Americans United for Life recognize that in order to safeguard maternal health, complete and reliable data on abortion must be made available to women, the medical community and the general public. A comprehensive state reporting system is the only way to accomplish this goal.”
We are grateful that the vast majority of Republicans in the Idaho Legislature recognized the huge importance of this legislation. Yet there were a few who chose to stand with Planned Parenthood and Democrats in urging its defeat:
Representative Fred Wood (R-Burley) voted against HB 638 on the House floor. And so did Republican senators Jim Guthrie (R-Inkom), Abby Lee (R-Fruitland), Jim Patrick (R-Twin Falls) and Steven Thayn (R-Emmett). Sen. Thayn was particularly agitated by the straight-forward proposal, taking to the floor three times during the debate to urge its defeat. We believe his intensity greatly confused the Senate’s discussion and led a couple of folks to cast a bad vote on the legislation they might not have otherwise.
One of the points he repeatedly argued was that this bill “went too far”. As we have tried to explain to Sen. Thayn, the legislation has no arbitrary time limit because some complications from abortion can take years to manifest. A woman might not learn for years that she can no longer conceive because of a previous abortion. Why would we not want to know that? More importantly – why would we not want another woman considering an abortion to know how often infertility becomes a problem later in life? Idaho has a responsibility to protect the health and well-being of its citizens – especially vulnerable women who are considering abortion.
It has been a long time since we have seen a Republican put so much energy and effort into defeating a pro-Life bill.
But, thankfully, most legislators and the governor were able to recognize how vital this new reporting system could be in saving the lives of preborn children – and the lives of their mothers as well. In fact, we think that there is very good reason to hope that this new law will lead to a complete revamping of our understanding of abortion and the long-term impact it has on the women who are seduced by the empty promises and false rhetoric of Planned Parenthood.
By: David Ripley
Reprinted with permission from Idaho Chooses Life