Judicial Bypass Wiki

A court in Idaho is allowing the state’s abortion ban to go into effect starting Aug 25 2022, while a lawsuit challenging the ban is still ongoing.

No matter their age, every person in Idaho has the legal right to get an abortion. But the state restricts abortions in some ways.

In Idaho, every person who wants or needs to have an abortion must:

  • get counseling in person or by phone with the clinic;
  • wait 24 hours after getting counseling before they can have the abortion.

All abortions must be performed before {{viability}{viability is a medical term that means when a fetus could potentially survive outside of the womb, generally around 24-28 weeks}}, unless the pregnant person’s life or physical health is in danger.

All abortion providers give some counseling to make sure you understand the medical process. But in Idaho, the law makes abortion providers offer you certain written materials about abortion that may be misleading or completely wrong. You don’t have to take these materials or read them if you don’t want to, but if you do read them and have questions, you can connect with other young people who have had an abortion to hear about their experiences here. You can also learn more about abortion procedures, how people may feel afterward, and learn about free, confidential, phone-based counseling services here. You can also talk to clinic staff if you have any questions.

Idaho makes people under age 18 get written permission from a parent or {{guardian}{A legal guardian has a court order stating that they have the legal authority and duty to care for a minor. This is different from a foster parent}} before getting an abortion. That written permission is called consent.

If you feel safe and want to involve a parent in your decision to have an abortion, one option is to talk to them about whether they will give you permission to get an abortion. In Idaho, you need consent from only one parent or guardian.

If you cannot or do not want to tell your parent or guardian, or if they will not consent, you can go to court and ask a judge to allow you to get an abortion. This is called judicial bypass.

If you are married or in active military service, you can get an abortion without consent from a parent or getting a judicial bypass.

In Idaho, only your parent or {{legal guardian}{A legal guardian has a court order stating that they have the legal authority and duty to care for a minor. This is different from a foster parent}} can consent to you having an abortion. If you are in foster care, even if your foster parent supports your decision, they cannot give consent for you to have an abortion. This means that you will either need to ask your legal parent for their consent, or you can ask your foster parent to help you get a judicial bypass.

If your parent or guardian gives you permission, they must sign a form provided by the abortion clinic saying that they give you permission to have an abortion. Contact the clinic to learn more about what your parent/guardian needs to do to give consent.

Not everyone can tell their parent about their decision to have an abortion. If you cannot or choose not to talk to your parent, there is another option called a judicial bypass. A judicial bypass means asking a judge to allow you to get an abortion without telling your parent.

This is a legal process that a lawyer will help you with. Your lawyer’s job is to represent you in court. That means they are there to help you ask for what you want. Even if the lawyer was given to you by the court, it is your lawyer’s job to help you ask the court for what you want.

  1. Idaho is one of the states that has a dedicated group of advocates working to help young people who need a judicial bypass.

You can visit the website for Planned Parenthood of Idaho here. Planned Parenthood runs a free hotline (208-376-9300) to help young people through the judicial bypass process. When you call the hotline, Planned Parenthood will provide more information on how to get a judicial bypass and answer your questions.

With the help of a lawyer, you will ask for a judicial bypass by submitting a document called a {{petition}{A petition is a form you fill in with information that tells the court what you are asking for}} to the court. After that, the judge will schedule a {{hearing}{A hearing is a meeting with the judge}}. The hearing will happen within 2 days after you turn in the petition, not including weekends and holidays.

You could also consider looking into having an abortion in a nearby state like Washington, which does not require parental consent and does not have a waiting period before you can have an abortion.

At the {{hearing}{A hearing is a meeting with the judge}}, the judge will ask you questions. Since every judge is different, we cannot know exactly what a judge will ask you.

Judges can ask your age, whether you have had a job, if you have lived away from your parents, if you have traveled by yourself, if you have your own money and know what a budget is, and whether you have made other big decisions in your life. The judge might also ask what has happened since you found out you were pregnant, what you think will happen if you don’t have an abortion, and what you did to decide you wanted or needed an abortion. The judge might ask you why you want or need an abortion.

You can find a list of questions that a judge might ask here. A judge might also ask questions that are not listed here, but it is a good idea to start thinking about what your answers are to these questions so you are ready if the judge asks. Your lawyer will help you with this.

After the hearing, the judge makes a decision about whether you can have an abortion without telling your parent. If you do not go to court to talk to the judge at the time you are scheduled to be there, the judge could automatically decide that you cannot get an abortion without getting consent from your parent.

If you think you cannot make it to the hearing, but still want the judicial bypass, you can ask for a different time to talk to the judge. If you have a lawyer, ask your lawyer about changing the time. If you don’t have a lawyer, call the court and tell them you have a time to talk to the judge but need a {{continuance}{The person at the court who you speak with might call this a continuance}}.

After the {{hearing}{a hearing is a meeting with the judge}}, the judge decides whether they think you are {{mature and well-informed}{The judge thinks you can make the decision to get an abortion without talking to your parent first}} enough to make this decision on your own, or if it’s in your {{best interest}{The judge thinks it would be better for you not to talk to your parents}} not to involve your parent.

The judge must make a decision right after the hearing. If the judge makes a decision and agrees that you can get an abortion without telling your parents, you will get an {{order from the court}{An official paper that you give to the clinic to show them that you have a judicial bypass}}.  If the judge does not make a decision right after the hearing, you will automatically get an order that allows you to get an abortion without telling your parents.

Having an order from the court means you can get an abortion in a clinic in Idaho without involving your parent. You will need to take the court order with you to the clinic to show that you have permission from the court to get an abortion.

To protect your privacy, you can ask court/attorney to send a copy of the court order directly to the clinic for you. 

No. The judicial bypass is confidential, which means that no one outside of the court will be told about it. When you send in your application to get a judicial bypass, your parent or guardian will not be told about the {{hearing}{a hearing is a meeting with a judge}}.

No, if you are granted a judicial bypass that means you can get an abortion if you want. It does not mean you are required to do anything and you can always change your mind. The {{court order}{official paper to give to the clinic to show them that you have a judicial bypass}} just means you can make the decision about whether you want or need an abortion without involving your parent/guardian.

If the judge says you cannot get an abortion without your parent’s permission, you can {{appeal}{An appeal is what happens when you do not agree with the judge’s decision and want to try and challenge that decision in court}} the decision. This means that even if the judge tells you no, you can ask another court with different judges to make a different decision.

The lawyer who supported you at the {{hearing}{a hearing is a meeting with a judge}} can talk to you about the appeal and help you understand what you need to do next.

If the appeals court also tells you no, or if you do not want to file an appeal, you could consider having an abortion in a nearby state like Washington, which does not require parental consent and does not have a waiting period before you can get an abortion.

You do not have to pay any money to get a judicial bypass. You may be able to get help paying for your abortion. Your clinic may be able to help you cover the cost of your abortion through an abortion fund. You can visit the website for the Northwest Abortion Access Fund here

https://nwaafund.org/info/idaho

1-866-692-2310

Leave a message with:

  • Your name and how to spell it
  • Phone number, including area code
  • How far along you are in the pregnancy
  • The date and location of your abortion appointment
  • The best time to call you back

You can find a map of abortion clinics in Idaho here. You can also find a list of Planned Parenthood locations in Idaho here.

Planned Parenthood – Boise Health Center

3668 N. Harbor Lane

Boise, ID 83703

 

Planned Parenthood – Meridian Health Center

2112 East Franklin Road

Meridian, ID 83642

 

Planned Parenthood – Twin Falls Health Center

200 Second Ave N.

Twin Falls, ID 83301

Some clinics may have limited service or hours

You can also use these directories to find an abortion clinic near you:

Planned Parenthood: Directory Here (make sure you select abortion in the services drop down menu) 

National Abortion Federation: Directory Here 

Abortion Care Network: Directory Here 

I Need An Abortion: Directory Here

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