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Regional News

Idaho House Votes To Halt Abortion Funding

idaho_house_in_session.jpg
Courtesy of State of Idaho
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The Idaho House approved a bill Tuesday that would prevent public funds controlled by the state from going to any person or organization that performs abortions.

Rep. Bruce Skaug [R-Nampa] says his bill would cut off most sources of public funding for abortions that are within the power of Idaho state government.That includes the federal Title X Family Planning Program. It provides money to serve individuals and families that have low incomes with health care, including cancer screenings and contraceptive counseling.

Bruce Skaug: “We anticipate, with the new presidential administration, that title funds will start flowing to abortion-friendly counseling centers, family planning-type clinics, and this would prevent that.”

Skaug says Idaho doesn’t accept money from that program and he wants to make sure it never will. But he says there are exceptions in the bill. He says the state cannot stop Medicaid funding from going to clinics that perform abortion and it can’t stop funding from going to private hospitals.

“It’s going to save some children from abortion. I have no doubt about that. If I could save all the children from abortion with a bill, I would do it. But the political and legal realities will not allow us to have a bill to pass and be successful for that," he said.

Skaug’s bill passed the House by a 55-14 vote. Eleven Democrats voted against because it cuts off funding for women who rely on health care from organizations such as Planned Parenthood.

It was also opposed by three Republicans, including Bonner County Rep. Heather Scott, who argue the state should strive to stop all public funds for abortions.