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Faith Healing Bill May Resurface at Idaho Statehouse

by

KELSEY HAWES
  • Kelsey Hawes


In 2014, Boise Democratic House Rep. John Gannon told Boise Weekly about a proposed measure to lift protections from parents who use faith healing or prayer as primary treatment for children who may later die.

As written, Gannon's bill would have called for criminal charges if a child died or suffered a permanent disability after parents turned to faith healing as the primary source or care or had refused traditional medical care.

That 2014 proposal never saw the light of day, when opponents said the measure would have "trampled on religious beliefs."

However, this morning's Twin Falls Times-News reports a 2016 version of the measure has a pretty good chance for a hearing before the State Senate Health and Welfare Committee, with Committee Chairman Sen. Lee Heider (R-Twin Falls) telling the paper, "I'll be happy to hear the bill."  

Times-News reporter Nathan Brown writes that while Heider concedes the debate is still a "freedom of religion issue," Gannon says he's prepared to present the bill again with what he calls "new evidence."