I am beginning to think that claims that Dobbs will have no impact on access to birth control were made out of ignorance or bad faith:
Public universities in Idaho are warning staffers not to refer students to abortion providers or tell them how to get emergency contraception because they could be charged with a felony, and one is barring employees from recommending birth control, as well.
The guidance from the University of Idaho and Boise State University forms the latest restrictions in a state that already has some of the nation’s strictest abortion laws.
“This is going to have a very broad impact. It’s going to have a very strong chilling effect on free speech,” said Mike Satz, an attorney and former faculty member and interim dean at the University of Idaho’s College of Law. “I’m afraid it’s going to scare people from going to school here or sending their kids to school at Idaho institutions.”
The prohibition against referring students or “promoting” abortion in any way comes from the No Public Funds for Abortion Act, a law passed by Idaho’s Republican-led Legislature in 2021. Boise State, like the University of Idaho, told faculty members in a newsletter this month that they could face felony charges for violating the law. Idaho State did not respond to phone messages from The Associated Press asking if it had issued similar guidance.
The law also bars staffers and school-based health clinics from dispensing or telling students where to obtain emergency contraception except in cases of rape. Such drugs prevent pregnancy from occurring and do not work when someone is already pregnant.
The University of Idaho’s guidance goes a step further, also warning employees about a pre-statehood law written in 1867. It prohibits dispensing or “advertising” abortion services and birth control — leading to UI’s advice that condoms be distributed only to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, not to prevent pregnancy. Lawmakers last updated the law in 1974, roughly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court said in Roe v. Wade that women have the right to abortion.
Tune in to Bari Weiss’s Substack for a gripping new story about a Wesleyan sophomore who destroyed free speech in America by suggesting that unseasoned Chicken of the Sea tuna on a hamburger bun should not be called a “lobster roll.”