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Idaho Dem Lawmaker Working on New Faith-Healing Bill

Stephan Senzel/ThinkStock
Stephan Senzel/ThinkStock

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho Democratic lawmaker is renewing his efforts to curb the number of children who die because their parents choose faith healing and not medical assistance for religious reasons.

The Times-News reports that Rep. John Gannon, D-Boise, is working on a new bill after failing to get a legislative hearing for a similar proposal in 2014. Gannon says he’s advocated changing state law after learning about the deaths of numerous children of members of the Followers of Christ group in southwestern Idaho from treatable conditions, including pneumonia and food poisoning.

Many children are buried at a cemetery overlooking the Snake River. Sen. Lee Heider, R-Twin Falls, says Gannon’s bill would get a hearing if it comes through the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. Heider added that Followers of Christ members are wonderful people who love their children.

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