(The Center Square)– Idaho Gov. Brad Little has responded to a letter from Washington Gov. Jay Inslee that took issue with a new Idaho abortion law.
In an April 4 letter Inslee asked Little to veto House Bill 242, passed by the Idaho State Legislature at the end of March, that would make it illegal for any person to help an Idaho minor get an abortion in another state, even if abortion is legal in that state.
Under HB 242, adults who obtain abortion pills for a pregnant minor or who help transport a pregnant minor for abortion procedures across state lines could face up to five years in prison if convicted.
“I fear that our residents, in particular the women and girls of Washington, will be in grave danger if they travel to your state and find themselves in need of urgent reproductive health care services,” Inslee wrote. “This bill would also attempt to punish some Washington residents who happen to be in your state for any length of time, a gross abuse of their right to travel between our states. As a result, all Washingtonians have a stake in this matter.”
Inslee’s letter apparently did not move Little, as the next day he signed the bill into law.
On Thursday, Idaho’s governor responded to Inslee’s veto plea with a letter of his own, taking aim at Washington’s taxes, crime rates, and homeless crisis in the process.
Little wrote that HB 242 does not criminalize interstate travel for reproductive care, but does prevent minors from traveling across state lines for an abortion without parental consent.
“Why do you not support that?” he asked Inslee in the letter. “The national media’s and your efforts to exaggerate and misrepresent the bill only further complicate the process. It is a disservice to our citizens.”
Idahoans are moving to Washington and vice versa, Little acknowledged, but that didn’t stop him from bringing up some of the Evergreen State’s most pressing issues.
“It is hard to imagine why someone would leave Idaho for Washington when your state is home to sky high taxes, crime, and public encampments,” he wrote. “Meanwhile, Idaho has turned back more tax relief per capita than any other state, we’re one of the safest states in nation, and we don’t back down to activists – we kick illegal public encampments off public property.”
Little said Idaho has “the right and duty” to make its own laws on abortion following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last summer overturning Roe v. Wade, meaning it’s up to each state to establish laws protecting or restricting abortion in the absence of a federal standard.
“I’ve enclosed a copy of the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution for your convenience,” the letter concluded.
It was followed by a copy of several constitutional amendments, with the Tenth Amendment highlighted in yellow.
The 10th Amendment reads, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”