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Idaho hospital will stop delivering babies as doctors flee state due to abortion ban
Near-total ban on abortions is driving doctors away, hospital says, leading to lack of nearby labor and delivery care for thousands
An Idaho hospital has planned to stop delivering babies, with the medical center’s managers citing increasing criminalization of physicians and the inability to retain pediatricians as major reasons.
Bonner General Health, the only hospital in Sandpoint, Idaho, announced on Friday that it would no longer provide labor, delivery and a host of other obstetrical services.
The more than 9,000 residents of Sandpoint are now forced to drive 46 miles for the nearest labor and delivery care, the Idaho Statesman reported.
In a statement, the hospital’s leadership said that the decision to eliminate the obstetrics unit stemmed from the “political climate” in Idaho.
“Highly respected, talented physicians are leaving. Recruiting replacements will be extraordinarily difficult,” hospital officials said in a press release.
“We have made every effort to avoid eliminating these services,” the hospital’s board president, Ford Elsaesser, added in the statement.
“We hoped to be the exception, but our challenges are impossible to overcome now.”
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Article URL : https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/mar/20/idaho-bonner-hospital-baby-delivery-abortion-ban