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Fear and frustration filled the air at this Idaho reproductive rights rally at the Capitol

Three generations of an Idaho family on the steps of the Capitol building in Boise.
George Prentice
Boise State Public Radio
Three generations of an Idaho family on the steps of the Capitol building in Boise.

Just days before the U.S. Supreme Court will consider oral arguments on the debate on whether federal law requires hospitals to provide emergency treatment, including an abortion to save the life of the woman – families from across the region came to the steps of the Idaho Capitol Sunday.

At the forefront was their disappointment in the just-concluded session of the Idaho Legislature which did not take up exceptions to Idaho’s near-total ban of abortions.

“For a state government to say that abortion should not be included in emergency care, is such an egregious affront to human life,” said Dr. Keemi Erme, a Washington-based OBGYN, who traveled to Idaho’s capital city to support fellow caregivers who say they feel threatened with possible legal action if they have to perform an emergency abortion. As a result, a number of those physicians have left, or are thinking about leaving, Idaho.

“We already have two hospitals here in Idaho who have shut down their maternity wards because we have providers fleeing the state,” said Gibron. “Lawmakers can deny all they want, but the facts are clear: physicians are leaving the State of Idaho for fear of criminal prosecution for simply doing their job.”

Morning Edition host George Prentice reports.

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