03 August 2023- Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown today joined a coalition of 20 Attorneys General to file an amicus brief in a lawsuit challenging Idaho’s restrictive law that makes it a crime for adults to help minors travel out-of-state for abortion care.
The challenge to Idaho’s so-called abortion “travel ban” was filed in U.S. District Court in Idaho earlier this month by an attorney working with sexual assault victims, the Northwest Abortion Access Fund, and the Indigenous Idaho Alliance.
The coalition’s brief urges the court to block Idaho’s law immediately. More specifically, the coalition argues that Idaho’s law not only endangers minors from Idaho, but also punishes other states’ medical providers and residents for helping them access lawful abortion care outside of Idaho’s borders. “This cannot be reconciled with Supreme Court precedent, under which States cannot prevent their residents from accessing abortion care in other States where it is legal much less from even accessing information about such lawful care,” the brief asserts. Further, the coalition argues that Idaho should not be allowed to criminalize legal conduct in other states.
“Idaho’s abortion travel ban is inhumane, intrusive, and endangers the health and well-being of minors seeking care wherever it’s available,” said Attorney General Brown. “This law must be blocked to safeguard reproductive freedom and protect access to legal abortion care.”
Idaho’s abortion laws, among the most restrictive in the country, have resulted in a significant uptick in Idaho patients traveling to other states for care. Idaho’s law also harms the ability of other states to provide timely care to these patients, given the delays often caused by out-of state travel.
This is not the first time that Maryland has weighed in on restrictive state abortion laws. In May, Attorney General Brown joined a multistate coalition to protect Americans’ access to abortions during life-threatening medical emergencies, which had been challenged in a lawsuit by the state of Texas.
Joining Attorney General Brown in the brief are the Attorneys General of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington.