Bill to defund Idaho abortion providers, affiliates passes overwhelmingly in the House

By Dave Andrusko 

A bill to “bar public funding for abortion providers for any purposes, along with entities affiliated with them” passed the Idaho House by an overwhelming margin of 55-14 Tuesday. Reporting for the Idaho Press, Ryan Suppe wrote that all but three Republicans voting in favor and all 11 Democrats voting against HB 220.

The “No Public Funds for Abortion Act” now moves onto the state Senate.

As Laura Nicole explained on Monday HB220

would help to create a near-total separation between any institution that receives taxpayer funds and any activity relating to abortion, including paying for, promoting, referring, counseling, or providing the facilities or training for abortion. 

The bill specifically names schools and public health departments, and it defines a violation as a misuse of public funds and subject to fines or imprisonment. The bill exempts hospitals, situations where a mother’s life is endangered, and Medicaid transactions since the latter is governed by federal law. 

Rep. Randy Armstrong, R-Inkom, described HB 220 as a “big step forward” in limiting the number of  abortions.

“We could pass a law right now today that says we are eliminating all abortion,” Armstrong said, according to Suppe’s story. “We would be attacked with a vengeance by lawsuits in every direction.”