Pregnant with no OB-GYNs around: In Idaho, maternity care became a casualty of its abortion ban

After an Idaho hospital closed its obstetrics department, pregnant women in the county have been left without nearby care. Their OB-GYNs fled the state.

Sept. 30, 2023
By Julianne McShane

If you’re pregnant in Bonner County, Idaho, you’ll likely spend a lot of time on Route 95.  Bonner General Health, a 25-bed hospital, discontinued obstetrics, labor and delivery services this year. So for residents, Route 95 is the way to the closest in-state hospital with obstetrics care, which is at least an hour’s drive south — or longer in the snowy winter.

The hospital, which staffed the county’s only OB-GYNs, cited the state’s “legal and political climate” as one of the reasons it shuttered the department. Abortion has been banned in Idaho, with few exceptions, since August 2022.