State of Idaho
Title 39, Chapter 39 of Idaho Code protects people who cannot necessarily consent to their own care from undergoing indiscriminate and unnecessary sterilization procedures. An evaluation committee reviews sterilization petitions filed under this chapter and provides a recommendation to a district judge, who decides whether to authorize the procedure.
The judge must confirm the person undergoing the procedure has given their informed assent. For those incapable of that assent, the judge can authorize a minimally invasive sterilization if the person is likely to engage in sexual intercourse, if their disability renders them permanently incapable of caring for a child, if parenting a child would cause the person severe harm and if there are no feasible alternatives, among other factors.
Sterilization petitions are confidential under this process, which the Legislature enacted in 2003. However, I.C. section 39-3913 requires the Administrative Director of Courts to publish certain general statistics for each calendar year. This report provides that data for petitions filed in 2021.
Judicial Consent Abortion Petitions
Idaho law contains a requirement that a minor receive either parental consent or a judge’s authorization in order to have an abortion. Enacted in 2007, Idaho Code 18-609A specifies the process for judicial consent, including a tightly defined timeline for hearings. To authorize an abortion, the judge must determine by clear and convincing evidence that the pregnant minor is mature and capable of giving informed consent or that the performance of an abortion would be in the minor’s best interests.
Petitions for judicial consent for an abortion are confidential. However, I.C. section 18-609F requires the Administrative Director of Courts to publish certain general statistics about the process for each calendar year. This report provides general data for petitions filed in 2021, the most recent full calendar year available.