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Eye On Boise

Dems boycott House hearing on fetal tissue bill, decry ‘campaigning on the public dime’

Democratic members of the House State Affairs Committee boycotted this morning’s meeting at which the committee had SB 1404a, the “Unborn Infants Dignity Act” regarding fetal tissue donation, on its agenda. “It is beneath our dignity, it is beneath the dignity of our constituents, and it is not worthy of our time or attention,” the Democrat said in a statement. “This bill, like many others introduced this session, is designed to inflame a small constituency that these politicians count on to vote for them. That’s campaigning on the public dime.”

The bill was pushed by the group “Idaho Chooses Life,” and bans donation or sale of fetal tissue in cases of abortion, either for organ donation or medical research. It also requires certificates the state Bureau of Vital Statistics to issued certificates certifying miscarriages on request, but only if they’re certified by a doctor, physician’s assistant or an advanced practice registered nurse. It passed the Senate on a straight party-line vote, with all Republicans voting “yes” and all Democrats voting “no.” The measure now moves to the full House.

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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