University of Idaho confuses students on abortion, contraception permissions

MOSCOW, Idaho — Idaho’s trigger ban on abortion prompted the University of Idaho to send out an email to staff, discouraging them from discussing abortion and birth control on campus.

Now, U of I sent out a new staff memo, saying the original version “took on a life of its own with misinformation, confusion, and emotion leading the conversation.”

It clarified to students that university policies have not changed due to the No Public Funds for Abortion Act.

However, there’s still much confusion over what is and what isn’t allowed after the university sent out its original memo.

“There’s a lot of confusion,” said Amber Aittama, a freshman at U of I. “I heard the thing before then, now the statement from the university, it’s kind of hard to tell what’s going on I guess, but some clarity would be nice.”

Students say they haven’t seen much change on campus since coming back from summer break.

“My roommate gets her birth control through here and everything had been continuing on as normal for her so I think that they’re doing good,” said Cheyanna Wing, a senior.

The university’s original memo stated that employees risked losing their jobs, even possible jail time for promoting, advertising, or giving abortions on the clock.

The new memo states, “Penalties of the law are criminal in nature, and the university does not impose criminal charges, nor conduct criminal investigations.”

For freshman attending college for the first time, the initial news was scary.

“Obviously after hearing about Roe v. Wade, living in Idaho, you know your options are going to be limited, but coming here was a little scary,” Aittama said. “I heard a lot of rumors about teachers will be prosecuted and what not if they talk about contraceptions or abortions or anything like that so it definitely was scary to say the least.”

Now, students say they feel confused about what they really can and can’t access on campus.

READ: ‘It’s not safe’: New University of Idaho policy limits employees from reproductive discussion

READ: University of Idaho prohibits faculty from promoting abortion, birth control