UPDATED, 1:20 PM with Right to Life news release and additional comments from Chairman Loertscher
Right to Life of Idaho President Jason Herring said the group will continue to fight to limit abortions in the 2013 Legislature.
His entire news release follows:
"Due to the misconceptions about SB 1387, the complexity of the issue, and the lack of time left in the session, we have decided to pull Senate Bill 1387 to work on concerns with plans to bring it back next year.
"We want to commend the diligent work and efforts of Senator Chuck Winder and Representative Janice McGeachin, as well as Senators Curt McKenzie, Sheryl Nuxoll, Steve Vick, Shirley McKague, and Representatives Brent Crane, Gayle Batt, Vito Barbieri, Reed DeMourdaunt, Paul Shepherd, Judy Boyle, and Carlos Bilbao.
"Senate Bill 1387 protects a woman's right to view and a child's right to be seen. Children in the womb cannot speak, cry, vote, text, email, phone call, or petition their government for redress of grievances. But children in the womb can be seen if we allow them. They deserve the right to be seen just as every woman deserves the right to make a fully informed decision about abortion. Women cannot make a fully informed decision if they are kept in the dark about the reality, visibility, and humanity of the life growing and developing within their womb.
"This debate is far from over. And we are committed to the passionate pursuit of truth and justice for Idaho's women and children -- our future generations."
Earlier posting, with fresh material from Chairman Loerscher at the bottom:
House State Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Loertscher said Tuesday morning -- after meeting with key lobbyists supporting the bill -- that the controversial measure is finished for the year.
"We will not be scheduling a hearing on it," said Loertscher, referring to Senate Bill 1387, which would mandate an ultrasound before a woman could have an abortion. Loertscher supported the bill. "The big problem that's been identified, or at least one that they haven't been able to get in front of, is the mandatory ultrasound."
Loertscher met with Right to Life of Idaho's Kerry Uhlenkott and Julie Lynde of Cornerstone Family Council. He said he offered to help them with the bill in 2013, if he's reelected, and that he advised them to remove the ultrasound mandate.
"The path forward from here is to hold off until next year and make another run at this in probably a little different way," Loertscher said.
Loertscher said he's concerned Idaho's informed consent law, which requires women to be given state-prepared brochures about fetal development and other material, could be undermined by a legal challenge if the ultrasound mandate were included.
"We already have an informed consent law that's enforced and it's a pretty good law," he added. "We certainly don't want to do damage to that. They (Uhlenkott and Lynde) agreed that's probably prudent."
Loerscher also said the Legislature's push to adjournment this week made amending the bill impractical.
He said one amendment he'd heard about -- though not seen in writing -- would have removed the mandate. Instead, physicians seeing women considering abortions would have to inform them of the availability of free ultrasounds, which are already offered by abortion foes at seven clinics in Idaho.
"The whole issue was clouded by the mandatory nature of it," Loertscher said. "The part about the heartbeat was problematic, too. This is a topic for another day and another Legislature."