H400: Preborn Children

Monday, 1/22/24:

Update: Rep. Young maintained that H400 would not impact in-vitro fertilization practices, however she moved to hold the bill in committee subject to the call of the chair, giving her time to review the text. This motion passed, while a substitute motion by Democratic Rep. John Gannon to essentially kill the bill was defeated on a 10-2 party line vote.

Rep. Young introduced H400 in House State Affairs Monday morning. Young explains that existing terms such as fetus, embryo and blastocyst are not used properly in existing law, and that “preborn child” would be a more accurate definition.

Follow me on Twitter for live updates from the hearing.

Wednesday, 1/17/24:

Rep. Young’s new bill has been read in the House as H400.

Tuesday, 1/16/24:

Rep. Young has reintroduced this bill as RS 30945 after finding some discrepancies in the way in which the word “fetus” was defined in Idaho code. House State Affairs approved the RS and it will be printed with a new bill number.

Thursday, 1/11/24:

Idaho Freedom Foundation has rated this bill +1.

Wednesday, 1/10/24:

Rep. Young’s RS has been printed and given a bill number, the first of the 2024 session. Henceforth it is House Bill 381, and the full text and information can be found here.

Tuesday, 1/9/24:

Rep. Julianne Young introduced RS 30791 in the House State Affairs committee this morning, of which she is vice chair. The proposed bill replacing the term “fetus” in Idaho code with the phrase “preborn child.”

Democratic Rep. John Gannon was concerned with legal penalties related to abortion that he said were causing doctors to leave Idaho, referencing several corporate media stories. Chairman Brent Crane asked if his concerns came out of existing statute or Rep. Young’s changes. Being the former, Crane ruled the question out of order.

Rep. Crane moved to introduce the RS and it passed unanimously. The bill will be printed shortly.

UPDATE: I received a copy of the draft legislation. It is more than twenty pages long, by virtue of the fact that the word “fetus” appears in several sections of Idaho code. The bill would simply remove references to “fetus” and replace them with “preborn child” or “stillborn child” certain cases.

Rep. Colin Nash told Rep. Young during the hearing that when it comes back for debate he would be focusing on whether the use of the phrase “preborn child” was a values statement or simply bringing clarity to the code.

Once the bill is printed it will be read for the first time in the House and assigned to the appropriate committee. Stay tuned.

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