An Idaho woman and her son have been charged with kidnapping after allegedly taking the son’s minor girlfriend out of state to obtain an abortion. The investigation began when the girl’s mother reported that her daughter had been sexually assaulted and subsequently taken to Oregon for the procedure. Abortion is largely banned in Idaho, while it remains legal in Oregon.
Idaho’s Republican-controlled Legislature and Governor Brad Little have been actively seeking ways to restrict abortion access in the state. Recently, a law was passed making it illegal to assist minors in obtaining abortions without parental consent. However, this law is currently being challenged in court and is not being relied upon in the kidnapping case.
According to court documents, the girl’s mother initially believed her daughter was living with her father but later discovered that she had been staying at her boyfriend’s house in Pocatello, Idaho. The girl revealed to authorities that she had engaged in a consensual sexual relationship with her boyfriend when he was 17 and she was 15. The relationship continued after he turned 18, and the girl became pregnant.
The girl stated that she was happy about the pregnancy, but her boyfriend expressed his unwillingness to provide child support and threatened to end their relationship. The boyfriend’s mother allegedly instructed the girl not to inform her parents and threatened to evict her if she did. In May, the girl, her boyfriend, and his mother traveled to Bend, Oregon, approximately 550 miles away, for the abortion.
Police confirmed the trip using the girl’s cellphone data. The boyfriend’s mother admitted to renting a car for the journey and claimed that the abortion was mutually agreed upon by the girl and her son. However, prosecutors have charged both the mother and son with second-degree kidnapping. The son is also facing charges of rape and producing child sexually exploitative material, as explicit videos and photos of the girl were found.
The mother is additionally facing multiple drug charges. Prosecutors argue that the kidnapping charges were brought due to the intention of keeping the girl hidden from her parents and transporting her out of state for the purpose of obtaining an abortion. Both the mother and son have been assigned a public defender, David Martinez, who declined to comment on the case.