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Illinois Attorney General
Kwame Raoul

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July 31, 2023

Coalition Urges Court to Block Idaho’s Law Criminalizing Assistance to Youth for Out of State Travel for Abortion Care

ChicagoAttorney General Kwame Raoul, with 19 attorneys general, filed legal arguments in a lawsuit challenging Idaho’s restrictive law making it a crime for adults to help minors travel outside of Idaho, where abortion is banned, for abortion care.

In the amicus brief, Raoul and the coalition argue that Idaho’s law not only endangers minors from Idaho, it also seeks to punish other states’ medical providers and residents for helping them access lawful abortion care outside of Idaho’s borders. In Illinois, the right to choose an abortion is a fundamental right, including for individuals who are under 18 years of age.

“We, unfortunately, continue to see increased efforts in other states to restrict access to or criminalize abortion. It’s not enough for these anti-abortion states to ban access within their own borders. Idaho’s law is an unconstitutional attempt to chill access to abortion in safe haven states, like Illinois,” Raoul said. “Illinois proudly protects reproductive health care as a fundamental right. I will continue to challenge any actions that attempt to curtail access to lawful health care in Illinois and across the country.”

The challenge to Idaho’s “abortion travel ban” was filed in U.S. District Court in Idaho earlier this month. In their brief, Raoul and the coalition urge the court to block Idaho’s law immediately and argue states cannot prevent residents from accessing abortion care in other states where it is legal. Additionally, the attorneys general argue Idaho should not be allowed to criminalize legal conduct in other states.

Idaho’s abortion laws, among the most restrictive in the country, have resulted in significant increases in Idaho patients traveling to other states for timely medical care.

Filing the brief is the latest in Raoul’s efforts to oppose restrictive abortion laws. Earlier this year, he joined a coalition of 15 attorneys general to file an amicus brief supporting Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, challenging a law that had been interpreted to prohibit providers from making out-of-state referrals for abortion care. Yesterday, a federal district court blocked enforcement of the prohibition, allowing health care providers to resume offering information and assistance without risk of legal repercussions. In August 2022, Raoul joined a coalition of 21 attorneys general to file a friend of the court brief supporting the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit challenging another of Idaho’s restrictive laws. In September 2022, Raoul joined a coalition of 21 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief to protect the right of individuals to travel out of Texas to obtain an abortion.

Joining Raoul in filing the brief were attorneys general from Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington.