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Running head: POLICY ANALYSIS OF HB 516

Policy Analysis of HB 516 – Relating to Abortion
Gala Hunter
SWRK 360 Social Issues and Social Policy
Heather Craig-Oldsen
March 21, 2016

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POLICY ANALYSIS OF HB 516

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Policy Analysis of HB 516 – Relating to Abortion
Outline

I.

Historical Background of the Policy – How did it come into existence?
a. Problems that led to the original creation of the policy
i. Antiabortionist laws
ii. Health risks
b. Importance historically
i. Roe v. Wade
ii. Removing criminality
c. Historical background of the policy
i. Legalization of first trimester abortions
ii. Banned Medicaid
iii. Hyde Amendment
iv. Planned Parenthood v. Casey
v. After Roe v. Wade
d. Legislative history for House Bill 516

II.

Problem(s) that Necessitated the Policy
a. Parameters of the problem
b. Nature, scope and magnitude of the problem
c. Women affected by the policy
d. Causes of the problem

III.

Description of the Policy
a. How the policy is expected to work
i. Informed decision
b. How the policy is implemented/coordination

POLICY ANALYSIS OF HB 516

i. The Health and Welfare Department
c. Agencies and organizations responsible
d. Knowledge base on which policy rests
i. Unrest
IV.

Policy Analysis
a. Does the policy contribute to greater social equality?
i. A matter of opinion
b. Does the policy positively affect the redistribution of resources, opportunities,

status, and rights?
c. Does the policy contribute to the greater quality of life for target populations?
d. Does the policy contribute to positive social relations between the target

population and overall society?
i. Pro-Life v. Pro-Choice
e. Is the policy feasible and efficient?
f.
V.

Does the policy follow the NASW code of ethics?

Conclusion

Policy Analysis of HB 516 — Relating to Abortion
Abortion was an issue long before it ever became a constitutional concern. In the 1800’s
abortion was made a criminal offense, one state at a time (Schorow, 2010). However,
criminalizing abortion did not stop women from seeking them, it only put their health at risk

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(Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, 1998). There were many events that led up to the
famous 1973 Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion and put the rights of a
woman’s body into her own hands. Since then there have been many amendments adapted on a
state level as federal law allows each state, room to wiggle on what they will and will not
tolerate. One such bill is Idaho’s House Bill 516, relating to abortion, amending section 18-609
of Idaho code which has now been signed by the President of the Senate and returned to the
House. This bill could help to ensure that each woman considering abortion has a greater chance
of making an informed decision, no matter what she chooses.

Historical Background of the Policy-How did it come into existence?
For hundreds of years women have helped other women with abortion. Prior to the late 19th
century there were women healers throughout the United States and Western Europe who not
only provide abortions, but trained other women to do the same. However, in 1803 Britain
passed the first antiabortion law and the United States soon followed. From that point forward
antiabortion laws only became firmer (Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, 1998). By the
early 1960’s a woman had nowhere she could go to get a legal abortion unless having the baby
would seriously jeopardize her health (Schorow, 2010). This did not stop a woman from having
an abortion, but instead forced her to risk her life by either trying to abort the pregnancy herself
or seek out illegal procedures (Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, 1998).
In 1973 Roe v. Wade was a landmark case in the Supreme Court that ruled it unconstitutional
to ban first trimester abortions that were not necessary to save the life of the mother. Supreme
Court Justice Harry Blackmun ruled that “the Texas statute violated Jane Roe’s constitutional
right to privacy” (McBride, 2006).

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Roe v. Wade was not the Supremes Court’s most significant decision to have ever been made,
but it by far continues to be its most recognized (McBride, 2006). Winning this case
accomplished removing criminality from the act of abortion, but it was only the first step. All
women were still not guaranteed the availability of an abortion if they found themselves needing
one, but it was the beginning of the crucial awareness necessary to eventually provide safer
abortion services (Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, 1998).
On January 22, 1973 Roe v. Wade helped legalize first trimester abortions on which was an
extremely important civil rights victory for women. Legalizing abortion helped to provide
improved abortion techniques, counseling for women, and even lowered the cost of the
procedure. However, for the forty percent of women who either could not afford or did not have
access to an abortion facility, the newly liberalized abortion laws meant nothing (Boston
Women’s Health Book Collective, 1998). To make things worse in July of 1976 Congress banned
Medicaid from funding abortions unless the mother’s life were danger. The new Hyde
Amendment caused many states to follow suit which directly affected women in poverty. In 1980
the Hyde Amendment was upheld by the Supreme Court and later many other severe blows to
the “constitutional protection for abortion rights” (Boston Women’s Health Book Collective,
1998). Then in 1992 the Supreme Court ruled in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, upholding the
fundamental right to an abortion. However, this decision also inflated the state’s ability to put
restrictions on women’s abortions and Idaho soon followed suit (Guttmacher Institute, 2016). In
1973 after Roe v. Wade went into effect, Idaho passed many laws regarding abortion which are
recorded in Chapter 6, Abortion and Contraceptives, under Title 18, Crimes and Punishment.
One of these laws passed in 1973 was 18-609 Physicians and Hospitals Not to Incur Civil

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Liability – Consent to Abortion – Notice. In 2007 there were three additions to the law and now a
proposed amendment with Idaho House Bill 516.
Legislative history

1973

(Idaho House Bill 516, 2016)

18-609 Physicians and Hospitals Not to Incur Civil Liability –
Consent to Abortion – Notice

2007

18-609A Consent Required for Abortions for Minors

2007

18-609F Reporting by Courts

2007

18-609G Statistical Records

2/17/2016

Introduced Proposed House Bill No. 516 – Relating to
Abortion – Amending Section 18-609

3/1/2016

Passed House approved to Senate

3/17/2016

Passed Senate

3/21/2016

Signed by the President; returned to House
Problem(s) that Necessitated the Policy

Abortion today is somewhat of a common experience and a relatively safe procedure for the
mother. More than half of all abortions are due to an unintended pregnancy caused by a lack of
contraceptives. The majority of the remainder used contraceptives, but became pregnant anyway
Guttmacher Institute, (2016). With abortion being such a serious decision a woman should be
provided with all of her options, including a right to a free ultrasound.
Per state there are different policies and laws requiring women who are seeking abortion to
undergo an ultrasound prior to having the procedure. Still other states mandate that the woman
only receives the information to access an ultrasound. Some opposers say that because a routine
ultrasound is not medically necessary for an abortion during the first trimester that any of these

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mandates are only a hidden attempt to humanize the fetus to the woman; therefore, dissuading
her from going through with the abortion (Guttmacher Institute, 2016, March 1). By the time a
woman reaches the age of forty-five, statistics show that nearly three out of every ten American
women will have obtained an abortion (Guttmacher Institute, 2016).
Idaho state law currently mandates that if an ultrasound is done by an abortion provider, the
woman must be offered the opportunity to observe the procedure (National Partnership for
Women & Families, 2016, March 3). Rep. Ron Nate, R-Rexburg, Idaho is the lead sponsor of
House Bill 516, and he stated, “To deny women this information is paternalistic…This bill
evidences true trust in women” (Russell, 2016).
Description of the Policy
This bill mandates that any woman considering abortion be given a list of doctors that
perform free ultrasounds. This list, compiled by the Department of Health and welfare shall state
the woman’s right to view the ultrasound image and hear the baby’s heartbeat at no cost to the
pregnant woman (House Bill 516, 2016). This bill ensures that each woman has a greater chance
of making an informed decision about such a life changing event, no matter what she chooses.
Any patient who is seeking an abortion by a legal facility in the state of Idaho would be included
in this policy (House Bill 516, 2016).
The Health and Welfare Department is responsible for compiling and maintaining a list of
providers who will provide free ultrasounds for women seeking an abortion. The information
shall clearly state that the patient has the right to have and view a free ultrasound image and hear
the baby’s heart beat from any provider on the list. This information must be given to each
patient seeking an abortion in the state of Idaho before an abortion can be performed. Any

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agency or hospital that performs abortions must carry and provide the information provided by
the Health and Welfare Department (House Bill 516, 2016).
It seems the opinion of those opposing the bill that will amend Idaho Statute 18-609, that it is
just another war on women fueled by the biases of pro-life politicians. Those opposing believe
these lawmakers are none different than those who oppose the right to health care. Additionally it
is these lawmakers that continue to block acceptance of federally funded programs expanding
Medicaid which in turn would provide abortion care (The Spokesman-Review, 2016, February
28). The amendment to 18-609 of Idaho Code is expected to be permanent and on-going as there
is no reference to an expiration date. This too will likely fuel those opposing Idaho House Bill
516.
Policy Analysis
This is a hot topic for both pro-life and pro-choice defenders. Rep. Ron Nate felt that creating
a list of ultrasound providers and mandating they be given to women seeking an abortion would
be “a simple bill”. However, Rep. Nate has found that not to be the truth of the matter. Those
opposing the bill, such as, Rep. Melissa Wintrow (D-Boise), feel that “this is one more piece in a
long line of legislation from this state that sends a message to women that we don’t trust them to
make decisions about their own lives without governmental intervention” (Prentice, 2016).
This policy contributes to a greater social equality for the unborn child and the mother.
Having a free ultrasound may cause the woman to change her mind and have her child, even if
for the purpose of giving it up for adoption. On the other hand, being provided the information
no matter what the woman chooses, also allows her to make more of an informed decision. “Pro-

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life laws provide women with crucial information that they wouldn’t otherwise get from
abortionists” (Ertelt, S. 2015).
The impact on the Department of Health and Welfare is estimated to be $1700 annually to
provide and up to date list of ultrasound providers. “This cost can currently be absorbed by the
program with federal money” House Bill 516, (2016). However, Democrats have expressed a
very real concern about the vetting process of the providers who appear on the mandatory list as
they feel they are mainly from anti-choice crisis pregnancy centers (Knight Shine, 2016).
With the target population leaning more toward the pregnant woman rather than the unborn
child a greater quality of life would be debatable. It would seem with the opportunity to obtain a
free ultrasound, the potential is definitely there; however, depending on what a woman does with
that choice and the reasons she makes that choice, may or may not promote quality of life for
herself. If she were swayed in anyway, she may be living with regret no matter her decision.
Crisis prevention centers have been found by both state and federal investigation to be religious
organizations staffed by persuasive anti-choice activists. These centers often offer women
considering abortion free pregnancy tests, financial support, free ultrasounds (Knight Shine,
2016).
This proposed amendment only contributes to positive social relations between the target
population (the pregnant women) and the side they choose. There is much disagreement between
the pro-life and the pro-choice parties which leaves little room for middle ground. Unfortunately
the decisions are highly political which tends to cloud the important issue of humanity. In
California and some cities, laws have been enacted to help reign in some of the deceptive
practices of crisis pregnancy centers (Knight Shine, 2016).

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Though there has not been much talk regarding the feasibility of this amendment, there is
always a cost. More than ten years after Roe v. Wade went into effect, Congress saw nearly fivehundred bills introducing restrictions on abortions through constitutional amendments. In
transferring the power to the states, federal funding for abortions became limited if not extinct
(Karger & Stoesz, 2014, p. 72).
If in fact this policy is just another ulterior motive to control women then this policy also has
the potential to not quite line up with the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code
of Ethics 4.04. The NASW is clear about not participating or being “associated with dishonesty,
fraud, and deception”. However, no matter what the reason, it is still up to the pregnant woman
to decide whether or not she utilizes the free ultrasound which lines up with NASW Code of
Ethics 1.02, Self-Determination (NASW, 2008).
Conclusion
With all the controversy surrounding the proposed amendment to Idaho’s statute 18-609
regarding abortion it is hard to know the truth. No matter the motive, one will need to look at the
facts and decide for themselves how they feel. Offering a free ultrasound to a woman
contemplating an abortion only gives her more information to better make her decision. If she is
on the fence, she just might utilize the offer and maybe even change her mind about having an
abortion. Is that really so bad? To choose to give life rather than end it? One does not have to be
pro-life or pro-choice in order to choose. The choice is still yours.

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Resources
Boston Women’s Health Book Collective. (1998). History of abortion. Feminist.com. Retrieved
from http://www.feminist.com/resources/ourbodies/abortion.html

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Ertelt, S. (2015, June 15). Supreme Court prevents women in North Carolina from seeing
ultrasound before abortion. Retrieved from
http://www.lifenews.com/2015/06/15/supreme-court-prevent-women-in-north-carolinafrom-seeing-ultrasound-before-abortion/
Guttmacher Institute. (2016). State facts about abortion: Idaho. Retrieved from
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/sfaa/idaho.html
Guttmacher Institute. (2016, March 1). State policies in brief: Requirements of Ultrasound.
Retrieved from http://www.guttmacher.org/statecenter/spibs/spib_RFU.pdf
House Bill 516. (2016). State of Idaho Legislature. Retrieved from
http://legislature.idaho.gov//legislation/2016/H0516.htm
House Bill 516. (2016). State of Idaho Legislature. Retrieved from
http://legislature.idaho.gov//legislation/2016/H0516SOP.pdf
Karger, H. J. & Stoesz, D. (2014). American social welfare policy: A pluralist approach. Seventh
edition. Pearson
Knight Shine. (2016, February 18). Want an ultrasound? Visit a crisis pregnancy center, Idaho
Republicans say. Rewire. Retrieved from https://rewire.news/article/2016/02/18/wantultrasound-visit-crisis-pregnancy-center-idaho-republicans-say/
McBride, A. (2006, December). Roe v. Wade (1973). Supreme Court history: Expanding civil
rights. The Supreme Court. PBS.org. Retrieved from
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/rights/landmark_roe.html
National Association of Social Workers (NASW) (approved 1996, revised 2008). Code of Ethics
of the National Association of Social Workers. Washington, DC: NASW. Retrieved from
http://www.socialworkers.org/pubs/code/default.asp

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National Partnership for Women & Families. (2016, March 3). Idaho House passes antiabortionrights ultrasound bill. Retrieved from
http://www.womenshealthpolicyreport.org/articles/idaho-house-passes.html?
referrer=https://www.google.com
Prentice, G. (2016, March 2). Abortion – targeting ultrasound bill passes Idaho house. One Dem
Joins republican majority. Boise Weekly. Retrieved from
http://www.boiseweekly.com/boise/abortion-targeting-ultrasound-bill-passes-idahohouse-one-dem-joins-republican-majority/Content?oid=3728366
Russell, B. (2016). Abortion debate heats up in Idaho Statehouse; full story. Spokesman-Review.
Retrieved from http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/boise/2016/feb/25/abortion-debateheats-idaho-statehouse-full-story/
Schorow, S. (2010, November 5). Setting the stage for Roe v. Wade. Harvard gazette. Retrieved
from http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2010/11/setting-the-stage-for-roe-v-wade/
The Spokesman-Review. (2016, February 28). Editorial: Idaho ultrasound bill shows
lawmakers’ distrust for women. Retrieved from
http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2016/feb/28/editorial-editorial/