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Eye On Boise

Hammond: ‘Hope this bill isn’t just another litmus test to prove you’re a conservative’

Retiring Sen. Jim Hammond, R-Coeur d'Alene, said, “In my last primary election, I had an opponent who alleged that I was pro-abortion, of all things. I don't think anyone is pro-abortion. … In the years that I've served in this body, I've had to examine my own heart and my own beliefs in regards to this issue. … I fell down to the side of the unborn. And my views on that have not changed.” But Hammond spoke against SB 1387.

“In my private life, I teach employers and employees how to better manage their health care benefits, how to keep costs down. One of the things that we teach them is avoid unnecessary procedures. Question your doctor - that's not something we've been taught to do. Question your doctor, ask them is this really necessary, is this really appropriate. … My problem with this bill is it kind of flies in the face of that because it forces procedures on you whether you wish them or not, and that's the kind of stuff that raises health care costs. We often talk about less government, about the government being too intrusive. I have a concern that here we're intruding in an area that belongs between a physician, a patient, and maybe that patient's clergy. Because no one should be required to have a medical procedure they don't wish to receive.”

He told the Senate, “I hope this bill isn't just another litmus test to prove that you're truly a conservative. There seems to be a presumption that a woman considering abortion is uninformed and needs government guidance. … But I would submit that rather than government guidance, their guidance should come from their physician and their family and their clergy.”

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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