An Idaho hospital plans to close its maternity ward, in part, because pro-abortion doctors are refusing to do their jobs to care for pregnant mothers and their babies.
Fox News reports Bonner General Health in Sandpoint, Idaho blamed the conservative “political climate” for its decision to shut down its maternity ward in a statement Friday, claiming doctors could be punished for providing health care.
But Idaho laws do not ban health care. They ban elective abortions, which kill unborn babies and tens of thousands of doctors confirm are not medical care. Abortion bans also include clear exceptions that allow doctors to treat pregnant mothers for problems like miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, and other situations where her life may be at risk.
Although the hospital did not mention abortion specifically, it blamed the state legislature for passing laws that “criminalize physicians for medical care.”
“Highly respected, talented physicians are leaving. Recruiting replacements will be extraordinarily difficult,” Bonner General said. “The Idaho Legislature continues to introduce and pass bills that criminalize physicians for medical care nationally recognized as the standard of care. Consequences for Idaho physicians providing the standard of care may include civil litigation and criminal prosecution, leading to jail time or fines.”
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The state abortion ban includes penalties for doctors who kill unborn babies in elective abortions in violation of the law.
In addition to blaming lawmakers, the hospital said local demographics are changing and fewer babies are being born in the area. Bonner General delivered delivered 265 babies and admitted less than 10 pediatric patients in 2022, according to CBS News.
With the closure, the closest maternity ward now is about 45 miles away from Sandpoint, according to the report.
Until the abortion ban went into effect last year, about 1,500 unborn babies were aborted annually in Idaho, according to state health department statistics.
Idaho is one of 14 states that protects unborn babies by banning abortions now that Roe v. Wade is gone.
The Planned Parenthood abortion chain challenged its law in court, but the Idaho Supreme Court rejected its claims earlier this year, ruling, “We cannot read a fundamental right to abortion into the text of the Idaho Constitution.”
The justices continued: “To the contrary, the relevant history and traditions of Idaho show abortion was viewed as an immoral act and treated as a crime. Thus, we cannot conclude the framers and adopters of the Inalienable Rights Clause intended to implicitly protect abortion as a fundamental right.”
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe in a historic victory for life and returned the power to legislate abortion to the people. Because of Dobbs v. Jackson, states may protect unborn babies from abortion for the first time in nearly 50 years. New research estimates state pro-life laws have saved as many as 10,000 unborn babies in just the first few months.
Currently, 14 states are enforcing pro-life laws that ban or strictly limit abortions, and others are fighting in court to do the same. Pro-life advocates expect more states will pass pro-life legislation this year.