Writings and observations

That saying about Idaho being what America was gets some increasing resonance these days, especially at the Idaho Legislature. The fifties, or so, maybe. Or maybe early in the last century, when passing out brochures on family planning was a ticket to jail.

Today’s exhibit is House Bill 530, proposed by Representative Carlos Bilbao, R-Emmett, which got a speedy hearing after introduction. Its stated purpose: It “limits benefits for substances that induce an abortion, sterilization and contraception in disability
insurance policies …”

It’s a response to the now-famous Obama Administration rule, which isn’t actually much different than what’s been on the books for a long time.

But now, Bilbao said, that federal rule “is an attack on my rights of conscience.” (How a state law would manage to overturn a federal regulation is left unclear.)

When the committee resumes hearing on the bill next Monday, it may hear from a number of women who and what they think the bill is an attack on. That said, expect the committee to pass it easily.

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