2023-03-18 21:58:13

Idaho hospital to stop labor and delivery services citing political climate and doctor shortages

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CBS News
By Cara Tabachnick

An Idaho hospital will stop labor and delivery services, citing doctor shortages and the "political climate," the hospital announced Friday.

"Highly respected, talented physicians are leaving. Recruiting replacements will be extraordinarily difficult," Bonner General Health, located in the city of Sandpoint, said in a news release.

Pregnant women who utilized Bonner General, a 25-bed hospital, will now have to drive to hospitals or birthing centers in Coeur d'Alene or Spokane to give birth.

In 2022, doctors delivered 265 babies at Bonner General and admitted less than 10 pediatric patients, the hospital said.

In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, abortion bans have added another challenge to rural hospitals that have struggled to keep their doors open and their facilities fully staffed and running.

Nationwide, hospitals have been sounding the alarm that states with strict abortion laws risk losing staff or doctors to other regions. According to the Associated Press, in Indiana, one of the first states to restrict abortion following the Supreme Court's decision, the Indiana Hospital Association said the state is "creating an atmosphere that will be perceived as antagonistic to physicians."

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