• Thu. May 30th, 2024

Democratic outcry leads to cancellation of Idaho women’s health hearing


Mar 26, 2024

A scheduled legislative hearing on the exodus of OB-GYNs in Idaho has been canceled by a senior House GOP leader following criticism from Democrats regarding the party’s inaction on reproductive health issues. Both House and Senate health committees were supposed to hear from Idaho’s top medical and hospital organizations, along with women’s health advocates on Tuesday morning. These organizations include the Idaho Medical Association, the Idaho Hospital Association, and the Idaho Coalition for Safe Healthcare. In a statement, the organizations encouraged lawmakers to consider the impacts on Idaho patients as they navigate healthcare policy legislation in the state.

Democrats had previously urged GOP leaders to add further abortion exceptions to consider the health of pregnant mothers, as well as protecting in vitro fertilization. Rep. John Vander Woude (R-Nampa), who chairs the House Health and Welfare Committee, made the decision to cancel the hearing due to a press conference that took place. He expressed feelings of betrayal, stating that the press conference felt like a direct attack on his efforts to work on the issue.

House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel (D-Boise) mentioned that by canceling the hearing, Republicans were suppressing information about the increasing scarcity of fetal and maternal doctors and specialists within the state. A recent study indicated that 22% of OB-GYNs had left Idaho following the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022. Vander Woude shared that he has a letter signed by 47 Republicans supporting IVF treatments, which will be released soon. He, along with Rep. Brooke Green (D-Boise), have been collaborating on legislation to protect IVF treatments in light of a recent Alabama Supreme Court decision regarding frozen embryos.

Despite the cancellation of the hearing, the conversation around reproductive health issues in Idaho continues to unfold. Democrats are hopeful that their concerns will be addressed and that lawmakers will work towards solutions to protect women’s health and access to reproductive care within the state.

By editor

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