by Reagan Reese
Idaho universities told educators that advising students to get an abortion could result in a felony, according to the Associated Press.
The University of Idaho in Moscow and Boise State University in Boise both issued notes to staff in September warning that “promoting” abortions or abortion services could result in felony charges, according to the AP. Educators are prohibited from advising students on abortion services under the state’s No Public Funds for Abortion Act.
The University of Idaho also warned educators that they are not to distribute birth control and suggest condoms to students instead, the AP reported. Condoms should be used to prevent transmitting diseases rather than prevent pregnancy, the university told educators.
“For years, GOP officials have gone after contraception and family planning services,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted about the guidance. “After the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs, GOP officials appear more empowered to strip Americans of their basic rights.”
For years, GOP officials have gone after contraception and family planning services. After the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs, GOP officials appear more empowered to strip Americans of their basic rights. https://t.co/3VNpW0dUgd
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) September 27, 2022
The memo from the University of Idaho was intended for the general counsel and meant to explain the “complexity” of the laws in Idaho, according to the Idaho Mountain Express. Under the law, the university could fire educators who promote abortion services.
This is a challenging law for many and has real ramifications for individuals in that it calls for individual criminal prosecution,” University of Idaho spokeswoman Jodi Walker told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “This guidance was sent to help our employees understand the legal significance and possible actions of this new law passed by the Idaho Legislature.”
“The law states that no public funds ‘shall be used in any way to … promote abortion.’ The section does not specify what is meant by promoting abortion, however, it is clear that university employees are paid with public funds,” Walker added. “Employees engaging in their course of work in a manner that favors abortion could be deemed as promoting abortion. While abortion can be discussed as a policy issue in the classroom, we highly recommend employees in charge of the classroom remain neutral or risk violating this law.”
Boise State University did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
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Reagan Reese is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Boise State University” by Jimmy Emerson, DVM. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.