Raul Labrador has never seen an oppressive abortion law that he did not like. He strongly supports Idaho’s three conflicting and poorly-worded abortion laws, despite the fact that they would deny life-saving medical care to women with dangerous pregnancy complications and criminalize doctors who try to save their lives. If he were to be elected as Attorney General of Idaho, the government would be in control of reproductive care in the emergency room.
One of the laws totally bans all abortions, even those essential to protecting the life and health of the mother. Doctors and health care workers who help the mother will be open to prosecution and will face a minimum of two years in prison unless they can prove to a jury that the abortion was “necessary to prevent the death of the woman.” The law does not say how close to death the woman must be to keep the doctor from going to prison.
The threat of criminal prosecution is designed to intimidate doctors out of providing necessary medical care even when a pregnancy goes horribly wrong. U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill ruled that the law can’t be applied in the emergency room setting when a woman’s life and health are seriously threatened. Labrador strongly disagrees with the judge and supports a move to reverse the ruling.
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Another law that Labrador strongly supports gives the abortion patient and each of her immediate family members the right to sue “medical professionals” for at least $20,000 for performing or attempting to perform an abortion. This so-called vigilante law is primarily designed to intimidate doctors and nurses. Once again, the Legislature and Labrador want to control the doctor-patient relationship, even where the pregnancy has turned dangerous.
As a Central District Health board member, Mr. Labrador has opposed precautionary measures like masking and vaccinations to prevent the spread of Covid-19, claiming people should not be pushed around by the government. Yet, when it comes to the extremely personal issue of reproductive health care, Labrador is intent on placing the government directly between the doctor and patient.
His overbearing attitude will jeopardize the health and safety of women who desperately want a baby, but have developed serious pregnancy complications that threaten both mother and child. Many Idahoans have strong religious convictions against abortion and they are entitled to hold those beliefs. But, most mainstream religions recognize that there are instances where medical intervention is essential to protect the life and health of the mother. Labrador will have none of that.
Labrador has demonstrated that, if elected, he would give a green light to legislative extremists who want to further criminalize competent, caring medical professionals and deny necessary care to women with serious pregnancy complications. He would undoubtedly give legal support for the GOP platform plank, which unequivocally declares: “We affirm that abortion is murder from the moment of fertilization.”
Labrador’s opposition to providing medical care in the reproductive arena will likely disprove his infamous proclamation at Lewis-Clark State College that “nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.” His desire to prevent women with medical complications from having access to life-saving reproductive care, either inside or outside of the emergency room setting, would likely be the direct cause of some needless deaths, if he is elected as Attorney General.
Jim Jones is a Vietnam combat veteran who served eight years as Idaho attorney general (1983-1991) and 12 years as justice of the Idaho Supreme Court (2005-2017). He is currently a regular contributor to The Hill online news. He blogs at JJCommonTater.
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