Photo: University of Idaho

University of Idaho warns employees who discuss abortion could face prosecution under state law


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Last week, the University of Idaho warned staff to not provide reproductive health services or provide birth control pills after near-total abortion ban in the state.

The memo states that under new laws the staff is unable to provide emergency contraceptives to students. 

Idaho lawmakers passed the No Public Funds for Abortion Act last year, which prohibits professors from promoting abortion services to students. 

Although the information provided remains inconclusive the University of Idaho is not leaving room for confusion—prohibiting contraception pills and condoms for the purpose of contraception, but is allowed for sexually transmitted dies prevention. However, education and discussion on abortion should be handled with cared under the basis of neutrality. 

“Academic freedom is not a defense to violation of law, and faculty or others in charge of classroom topics and discussion must themselves remain neutral on the topic and cannot conduct or engage in discussions in violation of these prohibitions without risking prosecution,” it said.

University employees are instructed in the memo to direct students to sources of information outside university—posing a bigger question as to what ‘sources of information’ can be provided, if any, to students. 

Idaho abortion ban has some exceptions in cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother.

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