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Eye On Boise

Idaho Senate panel advances abortion information bill

Here’s an article from the Associated Press:

By Kimberlee Kruesi

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A proposal that would increase reporting requirements for abortion providers is advancing at the GOP-dominated Idaho Statehouse.

The bill outlines a list of abortion complications that must be reported by providers, hospitals and clinics to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. This includes complications like infection, blood clots and hemorrhaging — as well as reporting of depression, anxiety and sleeping disorders.

"Idaho currently has no enforceable requirement that complications be reported, and the scant reporting that does occur is from abortion providers only," Rep. Greg Chaney, a Republican from Caldwell and co-sponsor of the measure, said in a statement. "This is a challenge since many complications are treated by emergency room doctors or primary care doctors-and not the abortion providers."

The measure passed the Senate State Affairs Committee on Monday and now moves to the full Senate for consideration. It has already cleared the House.

Supporters, which include Idaho Choose Life and Family Policy Alliance of Idaho, say the measure is necessary to ensure abortions are provided safely.

Some of the personal information required in the proposal is already collected by the state's health and welfare agency, but under the bill it would be required by law to report details such as woman's age, race, how many children she has, if any of their children have died and how many abortions they've had in the past.

The abortion provider and facility where the abortion was performed must also be disclosed.

The state would aggregate the information for an annual report and make it available to the Legislature and the public, but identifying information would not be disclosed.

Similar proposal have been introduced in Indiana and Arizona this year. At least 20 states have such laws on the books, though the amount of detail that must be reported varies, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which opposes abortion restrictions.

The group notes that interest in such laws has spiked after a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court struck down Texas restrictions that had contributed to the shuttering of more than half of the state's abortion clinics.

At the time, the court found there was insufficient data to justify the restrictions, which required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and forced clinics to meet hospital-like standards.

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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