Yes, Grandma, They are Coming For You

Elaine Gilmartin
4 min readJun 28, 2023
Pixabay- Anastasia Shuraeva

by Elaine Gilmartin

I loved the 2015 movie, Grandma, starring Lily Tomlin as a cool, brash, no nonsense grandmother who helps her granddaughter access reproductive care. The teenager, played by Julia Garner, is terrified to go to her mother about her unintended pregnancy, has no money, and finds out the guy who impregnated her is a callous ass.

Time to call in the cavalry, A.K.A. Grandma.

For too many teens, parental support is less than ideal and so extended family can play a pivotal role in their mental and physical health.

Not so fast, says the state of Idaho.

In April, Governor Brad Little of Idaho signed into law HB242, the new “abortion trafficking ” law is the first of its kind in the U.S. It makes it illegal to either obtain abortion pills for a minor or to help them leave the state for an abortion without their parents’ knowledge and consent. Anyone convicted will face two to five years in prison and could also be sued by the minor’s parent or guardian.

The wording of this bill sidesteps the violation of a constitutional right to travel between states by making it illegal only for the in-state segment of a trip to an out-of-state abortion provider.

But, according to Planned Parenthood Federation of America president, Alexis McGill Johnson, the law raises pressing concerns about the state’s legal ability to restrict residents from traveling to neighboring states to access abortion care and will isolate young people and put them in danger, including those who are in abusive situations.

Idaho is one of the most extreme, allowing abortion only if the mother’s life is demonstrably at risk and for rape only if a police report is filed, which is unlikely as it is one of the most underreported of crimes, especially child sexual abuse.

So picture this scenario. A woman driving her granddaughter across the Idaho border for a sporting event or a vacation, or to visit family friends, or just because…

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Elaine Gilmartin

A therapist by profession, a runner by passion, a writer by necessity.