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Idaho bill aimed at abortion funding heads to full Senate

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MGN Online

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A bill in Idaho that would ban any public money from going to organizations that provide abortions headed to the Senate on Friday.

The Senate State Affairs Committee sent the measure to the full Senate for possible amendments, voting on party lines with both Democrats opposed.

The amendments haven't been made public, but sponsors told the committee they are intended to avoid potential lawsuits. The initial legislation was expected by both backers and opponents to be challenged in federal court if it became law.

The ACLU of Idaho told the committee the new legislation with the amendments would likely also be challenged in court, and Idaho would lose.

Federal and state law already bans public funding for abortion except in certain circumstances, such as when a pregnancy results from rape or incest or endangers the pregnant woman's life. But health care providers who perform abortions can receive public funding for other medical services. The bill seeks to cut off that funding.

Republican Rep. Bryan Zollinger said the initial legislation before the amendments would cut off about $500,000 annually, mainly to Planned Parenthood.

One of the amendments added to the bill cuts off sex education funding to schools from certain healthcare providers. Backers of the legislation said the Idaho attorney general's office would be consulted to see if that could stand up in court.

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Associated Press


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