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Gov. Little signs bill to 'defund' abortion providers in Idaho

Posted at 12:38 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 18:22:22-04

BOISE, Idaho — Gov. Brad Little signed House Bill 220 Monday morning, which states no money will support the abortion industry and prohibits the expenditures of taxpayer dollars to abortion providers. The newly signed law also applies to any units of government in Idaho including state, county, public health districts and public schools and universities.

The bill's Statement of Purpose says “intentional non-compliance is subject to prosecution under the state's misuse of public funds statute.”

Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates of Idaho (PPAA) oppose the new law and say HB 220 will negatively impact public health.

“We condemn the actions of this legislature and its fixation with restricting access to health care. Furthermore, we condemn Gov. Little for signing the bill into law and disregarding Idahoans’ freedom to make their own reproductive health care decisions. This bill is dangerous and short-sighted and will have impacts on people’s ability to access preventive health care. Access to birth control, cancer screenings, STI testing and treatment, and wellness exams are now less available to Idahoans, thanks entirely to the political statement legislators tried to make with House Bill 220,” Idaho State Director for PPAA Mistie DelliCarpini-Tolman said

The bill prohibits abortion providers from teaching sexual education in public schools. This would end any practice or counseling of abortion at Boise State University, the University of Idaho, and Idaho State University and other public schools that offer services through student health centers.

Boise State’s Vice President of University Affairs Alicia Estey said “As always, Boise State University is committed to acting in accordance with federal and state laws. We are currently working with our partners in the executive and legislative branches to better understand the implementation of this legislation and ensure we are amending our practices accordingly."

A pro-family ministry group, Family Policy Alliance of Idaho, supports Gov. Little’s signing of the “No Public Funds For Abortion Act.”

“Defunding Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers was one of our top priorities when legislative session began earlier this year. Idahoans don’t want their state or local governments sending their hard-earned money to abortion providers—and they certainly don’t want abortionists providing services and promoting abortion in our public schools and universities. Abortion should never be subsidized with our tax dollars, and Idaho public school students should never learn about sexuality from the abortion industry. The No Public Funds For Abortion Act protects students, vulnerable women, and hard-working taxpayers from the ‘Big Abortion’ lobby. We are excited that Gov. Brad Little signed this important pro-life reform that protects taxpayer assets from abortion providers who have benefitted from government largesse for too long,” Executive Director for Family Policy Alliance of Idaho Blaine Conzatti said.

Planned Parenthood saw 9,225 people in Idaho in 2020 for a range of preventive family planning services.

In 2019, Idaho providers performed around 1,500 abortions and about 67% percent of those occurred in the first nine weeks of pregnancy.