A federal judge has temporarily halted the implementation of Idaho’s law on ‘abortion trafficking’ while a lawsuit is being pursued.

A judge at the national level has put a pause on the implementation of Idaho’s law regarding “abortion trafficking” until a lawsuit questioning its legality is resolved.

According to U.S. District Magistrate Debora K. Grasham’s decision on Wednesday, this legal case does not revolve around the right to have an abortion. It encompasses broader issues such as fundamental rights of free speech, expression, due process, and parental rights that have long been acknowledged and respected. These rights are not in conflict with each other.

Idaho has a ban on abortion throughout all phases of pregnancy. In May, a law was passed to prevent minors from obtaining abortions in states where the procedure is legal without parental consent. According to this law, individuals who assist a minor who is not their own child in arranging an out-of-state abortion can be charged with a felony. However, they can present evidence in court that the minor had parental permission for the trip.

Those in favor of the legislation refer to it as a ban on “abortion trafficking.” Critics argue that it violates the Constitution by restricting interstate travel and infringing on free speech rights.

Earlier this year, a state and the Idaho Attorney General Raul Labrador were sued by two advocacy groups and an attorney who helps sexual assault victims. Nampa attorney Lourdes Matsumoto, the Northwest Abortion Access Fund, and the Indigenous Idaho Alliance all work with minors seeking abortions and expressed in the lawsuit their desire to continue their work without fear of being prosecuted.

According to them, the law is too ambiguous for them to determine what actions would be considered legal or illegal. They claim that this violates the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment. Additionally, they contend that the law encroaches on the right to travel between states guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment, as well as the right to travel within Idaho.

Grasham and the state’s attorneys both acknowledged that current case law in Idaho does not protect the right to travel within the state, leading to the dismissal of that aspect of the lawsuit. However, the remaining three claims were allowed to proceed as Grasham recognized that the plaintiffs’ actions in aiding minors were a reflection of their fundamental beliefs, demonstrated through messages of encouragement and unity for those seeking legal reproductive options.

The judge stated that she was not prioritizing free expression or due process over parental rights, or vice versa. She noted that these rights have peacefully coexisted for many years and can continue to do so.

Idaho, like many other states, has laws that make certain actions, such as abortion, kidnapping, and human trafficking, illegal within its borders. However, the state is not allowed to create a law that restricts a certain viewpoint from expressing themselves under the pretense of protecting parental rights. This was stated by the author.

Authorities in eastern Idaho have pressed charges against a mother and her son for second-degree kidnapping after allegedly transporting the son’s underage girlfriend out of state for an abortion. The “abortion trafficking” law was not cited in this case, with prosecutors citing the intent to hide the girl from her parents as the reason for bringing the criminal charge. The mother and son are accused of taking the girl out of state specifically to obtain an abortion.

The lawyer representing the woman did not promptly respond to a phone call inquiring for a statement. The court record for the son was not accessible online and it is unclear if the legal proceedings against him are ongoing.