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David Ripley: House Rejects Rule on Abortion Funding

March 16th, 2011 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

The Idaho House has soundly rejected a rule being used by the Department of Health & Welfare to fund teenage abortions.
In theory, the Department rules were written to implement the Davis/Loertscher Amendment, adopted by the Legislature in 2001. That statute limits public funding of abortions to cases of rape or incest – or when the woman’s life is at risk. Most of the Department rule is logically related to those three criteria, like the woman producing a police report in which the crime has at least been reported.
But in dealing with teenage abortions, the Department merely requires a girl to prove that she was under 18 at the time of conception.
Our reading of the rule is that it would allow the Department to finance virtually any teenage abortion.
We are grateful that the Idaho House has taken the time to address this matter, given the many difficult challenges it faces this year. We also want to publicly thank Rep. Janice McGeachin, Chairman of the House Health & Welfare Committee, for leading our efforts in the House of Representatives.
Every Republican – except Tom Trail of Moscow – voted to strip this rule from the Department’s playbook. Sadly, every Democrat, including Boise freshman Democrat Cherie Buckner-Webb, voted to support the Department’s abuse of its rule making authority.
We are now looking to the Senate leadership to provide us with a hearing for HCR 23.

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