BOISE, Idaho — As Idahoans plan for a future without abortion rights, a leading Idaho House Republican is reportedly backing hearings on legislation banning abortion pills and birth control pills. the next day.
House State Affairs Committee Chairman Brent Crane, R-Nampa, said he would hold hearings on legislation banning emergency contraception and abortion pills during a Friday television interview Idaho public.
“IUDs, I’m not sure yet where I would be on that particular issue,” he said, referring to intrauterine devices, which are a form of long-lasting contraception.
In an interview on Saturday, Crane clarified that he supports contraception, including IUDs, and would not support hearings banning contraception in general. Instead, he said he’s heard of safety issues with emergency contraceptives, like Plan B, and abortion pills, so he’d be willing to hold hearings about them.
Crane said there have been reports of “complications” caused by morning-after pills and abortion pills causing “health problems for the mother”, despite years of research showing the safety of both drugs.
Abortion pills, approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in 2000, are currently approved for use up to 11 weeks of pregnancy. Morning after pills are emergency contraceptives used before conception and shortly after sexual intercourse. They have been available for more than two decades, but over-the-counter drug forms have been on the market since 2006.
Between 2006 and 2010, 5.8 million American women reported using emergency contraception at least once, according to the US Office of Women’s Health.
“I would hold a hearing to spread the word and determine if these rumors are true,” Crane said, noting that he had heard there could be “complications with these pills.”
“One of the ways to get information and process that information and find out the truth about the case is to hold a public hearing,” he said.
In a Friday statement, Deputy Minority Leader Lauren Necochea, D-Boise, said such potential legislation would take away “the most fundamental freedoms of Idahoans.”
“The admission that Republican lawmakers in Idaho can ban safe and effective forms of birth control is our worst realized fear,” she said in the statement. “This statement should serve as a wake-up call to every Idahoan and American, that our right to privacy and the very control of our bodies and lives are in their crosshairs.”
On Monday, a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion showed a majority of justices backing the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision that found abortion to be a constitutionally protected right.
A final decision from the High Court is expected in June.
If Roe is overthrown, Idaho has laws on the books that would effectively ban all abortions immediately. The law would make an exception for pregnancies started by rape or incest, but only if the incident is reported to law enforcement.
According to statistics from the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, only 25% of all rapes and sexual assaults in Idaho were reported to police in 2018, the most recent year for which data is available. were available.
On Friday, Necochea, who was interviewed alongside Crane on public television, said Idaho’s abortion ban would place a greater burden on poor women and women of color.
“People who can afford to travel to get this legal procedure across the border, they will be able to do that,” she said. “It will be low-income people, people of color who may not have the same social networks that can drive them across state lines, who can lend them the money they need. It is an unfair law when it only applies to certain people and not to the wealthy who can afford to find other ways to obtain this care.
On Saturday, Crane said he wasn’t sure he agreed with Necochea because in heavily populated areas of Idaho, like Treasure Valley, Oregon isn’t far away. He also noted that Idaho’s law allowing family members of women who have abortions to sue providers is still under review by the Idaho Supreme Court.
Necochea also said that in addition to reducing abortions, House Republicans have also resisted attempts to pass legislation expanding social services for pregnant women or new mothers, or legislation making it easier to obtain birth control.
“What I see is a legislature that won’t do anything to help people with family planning, to help prevent unwanted pregnancies, but start talking about harsh, appalling punishments,” she said. .