Anti-Choice Lawmaker Agrees With Religious Exemption Law That Allows Parents To Deny Medical Care To Children
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) is the only top gubernatorial candidate who’s arguing to keep the Idaho law–which provides protections for parents who want to use faith as a way to treat their children’s medical conditions– even if that child dies.
This means parents who choose “faith healing” instead of actual medical care for their sick children would be protected by the state’s religious liberty exemption. Labrador is the only top candidate for governor who wants to keep the law–which prevents civil or criminal prosecution of parents who deny their children medical care on religious grounds.
During a televised debate on Monday, the three top gubernatorial candidates weighed in on the issues; and when the subject of Idaho’s faith-healing exemption came up, Labrador said “I would not change it. I believe in religious liberty. We believe in freedom,” he said. “I would not interfere with a parent’s right to make a decision like that. I believe that they get to decide.”
Not surprisingly, the Democratic candidates oppose the existing law and said so in an interview with the Idaho Statesman. In 2014, A.J. Balukoff, Democratic nominee said: “Idahoans are free to practice whatever religion they choose, but we cannot put our children at risk by denying them proper healthcare that leads to serious illness or worse.”
In a February 2018 interview with the same paper, Labrador argued in favor of the religious exemption law, “Families, not government, should make health care decisions for their children.”
When it pertains to the topic of abortions, however, anti-choice Labrador feels it’s okay for government to make health care choices for women.
In April 2017, Labrador faced an angry town hall crowd; and he was booed when he argued that healthcare isn’t a “human right.” “I do not believe healthcare is a basic human right,” Labrador told the crowd. “I just don’t think it’s a right to have healthcare.”