Attorney General Mayes Fighting Idaho’s Travel Ban For Minors Seeking Abortions

August 6, 2023

By Corinne Murdock |

Attorney General Kris Mayes is fighting the state of Idaho’s ban on minors traveling to other states to obtain an abortion.

Mayes joined a coalition of 20 Democratic attorneys general to challenge the ban in federal court. 

Those in the challenge, led by the state of Washington, are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C.

In a Tuesday press release, Mayes cast those opposed to abortions for minors as “anti-choice extremists.”

“States are free to regulate abortion within their border, but Idaho’s restrictive law goes too far,” stated Mayes. “When a state like Idaho prevents it[s] residents from getting reproductive healthcare in their home state, those patients are entitled to seek out care in a state that lets patients make medical decisions without imposition of the government.” 

Idaho law prohibits the recruitment, harboring, and transportation of mothers seeking abortions. In the amicus brief, the attorneys general argued that the law violated the rights of interstate travel and free speech, as well as infringed on the legality of abortion in surrounding states.

The attorneys general further argued that Idaho law posed an inappropriate, and even dangerous, deterrent to abortionists and pro-abortion organizations. They claimed that abortion was safe at virtually any stage of the pregnancy, but that delays could pose an increased risk to the mother. 

Parental competence was also addressed by the attorneys general. The Democratic leaders argued that up to one-third of pregnant minors had unreliable, confrontational, or dangerous parents, citing research from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Expanding abortion access has been a defining aspect of the Mayes administration so far. In March, Mayes formed a six-member Reproductive Rights Unit within her office: the first of its kind. Heading the unit is deputy solicitor general Hayleigh Crawford.

Mayes’ abortion rights unit bears resemblance to the Justice Department’s Reproductive Rights Task Force. Both have sought to fight against various states’ attempts to restrict or ban abortion and have fought legal challenges against the prohibition of the abortion-inducing drug mifepristone. 

Last month, Mayes petitioned for the Biden administration to prevent the health information of women who received an abortion from being accessed for the purpose of any criminal, civil, or administrative investigations related to abortion restrictions or bans. 

Mayes is also fighting to prevent the enactment of the state’s original law on abortion — a near-total ban — over the more recent law, a 15-week restriction. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

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