Idaho parents are shielded from prosecution if they refuse modern medical care for their children because they believe in faith healing. The laws allowing this exemption date back to 1972.
Thursday morning, a bipartisan group of lawmakers will hear from people who want these laws changed. Rep. John Gannon (D-Boise) is on the working group, and says the issue is about child protection … and that religion should not be used to shield parents.
“It’s well-settled that you can’t shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theater and cause people to panic and become injured," says Gannon. "The First Amendment doesn’t protect that. Well likewise, there are limits on religion also.”
The Democrat proposed a bill earlier this year that would have lifted protections for parents whose children become disabled or die as a result of a lack of care. The bill, though, didn’t get any traction. Gannon is optimistic the working group will be able to come to a consensus to create momentum for a similar bill in 2017. Listen to the working group live beginning at 9:00 a.m. here.
Find Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill
Copyright 2016 Boise State Public Radio