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House passes abortion-reversal bill on party-line vote, sends to Otter

On a party-line vote, with all minority Democrats voting no, the House has passed SB 1243, requiring the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare to provide information to women seeking abortions about reversing a medication-induced abortion part-way through. Rep. Gayann DeMordaunt, R-Eagle, urged House members to support “empowering women with this information.”

Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, said, “I think this is a very dangerous bill and it is a travesty that it is going forward … based on a study conducted on six women.” She said, “It’s not a protocol, and it’s not a scientific study, and it’s not a real thing.” She said, “Women can make up their own minds and they don’t need to have a bunch of information that is misleading and is misguided.”

Rep. Karey Hanks, R-St. Anthony, told the House, “These are babies we’re talking about. It’s difficult, it’s almost impossible for me to speak because I feel this so strongly. These aborted, these are pre-born babies. I just want to remind us who are Republicans that in our platform, it talks about right to life, that we reaffirm our support for the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.”

Rep. Elaine Smith, D-Pocatello, read from a publication by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, saying, “This so-called aborttion reversal is unproven and unethical … has not been tested for safety, effectiveness or the likelihood of side effects.” She noted that similar legislation prompted a lawsuit in Arizona, then was repealed. “I don’t want Idaho involved in a lawsuit which can be costly,” she said. “We can’t afford it.”

Rep. John VanderWoude, R-Nampa, told the House he was moved by what he saw at the committee hearing on the bill. “I don’t know what more evidence we need that it works, if you see a healthy child standing right there in front of you,” he said.

Rep. Barbara Ehardt, R-Idaho Falls, said, “What a humbling and historic opportunity we have right now … to give them hope again … to restore life, to be a mother… Truly this is historic, why wouldn’t we want to be a part of this today, why wouldn’t we want to be a part of something that could potentially change lives? … Life is precious and we should know that,” she said. “Please vote life.”

The bill already passed the Senate; it now heads to the governor’s desk.



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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