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August 25, 2022

Day 1: Idaho’s Abortion Ban

a cool, dark blue bubble has a lighter center; in the center is a digital graphic of two people near a gavel & examining paper on a clipboard (the image has lift blue and maroon aesthetics)There’s no way to be honest without this being hard. Today, Idahoans have fewer rights than they had yesterday.

UPDATE: Late yesterday (8/24/22), a judge partially blocked our state’s abortion ‘trigger’ law; however, under the analysis of Legal Voice, this ruling changes little about the abortion ban that has been written to take effect today, save for emergency rooms. The most damaging aspects of the ban (the 6-week time limit & the bounty hunter clause that will acutely impact survivors) still remain. 

The Idaho Coalition is currently finding updated analyses & guidance. We will share any & all information possible with advocates & programs across the state. For now, we offer more important updates & information from Legal Voice (shared on 8/24/22):

Here’s what you need to know about the abortion ban that was proposed to take effect today in Idaho⁠—

    • Idaho’s ban is one of the strictest in the nation, banning all abortion except to save the life of the pregnant person & in cases of rape and incest (but only where the crime is reported to law enforcement). This law will carry grave consequences for pregnant people, those who help others access abortion care, and healthcare providers. Here’s a link about what OBGYNs say about how this ban will cause harm to pregnant folks. 
    • We’ll witness outsized impacts on victims of sexual violence, LGBTQ+ people, immigrants, young people, people with disabilities, and people of color. Here’s a link that details the disproportionate harm of abortion bans.
    • Exceptions exist for abortion in cases of rape or incest, but only if the pregnant person reported the incidents to law enforcement, or child protective services in the case of a child, and provides the written report to the physician performing the abortion. The law also allows abortion for a “medical emergency” but does not define that term, which creates uncertainty for doctors and patients. Already, patients experiencing miscarriages are having to wait until they are in sepsis before providers will treat them. Alternatively, they are having to travel to other states to receive treatment. That is because the law does not make clear what it means for a patient’s life to be at risk.
    • The next part of the abortion ban is whom it criminalizes: Idaho’s anti-abortion law authorizes people to sue the doctor who performed the abortion up to 4 years later. The parent, grandparent, sibling and aunt/uncle of the fetus can sue a doctor for performing an abortion. Laws like this incentivize the medical surveillance of pregnant people, which will disproportionately impact Black & brown communities who have been subjected to medical surveillance, experimentation and oppression throughout this nation’s history.

Idaho is now a forced birth state, and any state that controls bodies will find a fight with Legal Voice & advocates across the state. Our bodies are our own, and we will work for as long as we can to preserve that freedom.

This article was adapted from a compelling Twitter thread shared by Legal Voice on 8/24/22; we adapted this thread to reflect the date of 8/25/22 & to reformat from Twitter.

Legal Voice is an organization that fights for gender liberation across the Northwest by challenging patriarchal and racist power structures to widen pathways to justice, and if you’d like to connect with Legal Voice about their original thread (or about other areas of their expertise), their website is legalvoice.org.


Monkeypox: Shelters for Survivors

a cool, dark teal bubble with a soft, lighter blue center: in the center is a digital doodle of the back of someone's hands covered in red bumps & there are three red virus cells around the hands by 2 red-tinted bubbles that have question marks insideEspecially because of the prolonged chaos of COVID-19’s pandemic, the Monkeypox outbreak has awakened worry, fear, and even hysteria. Are we desensitized & underprepared to face Mokneypox in Idaho? Are we too scared about something we may be equipped to handle? Are we using the best language about this virus, and if not, how can we shift our language so we aren’t creating even more issues about this virus? Many questions buzz around as we confront Monkeypox precautions & advisories in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

We are charged with the mission of learning from COVID’s questions & answers to better guide us through Monkeypox outbreaks in Idaho.

Although we don’t know all of the questions you might have, nor do we have all of the answers, we extend a Quick-Reference Guide that is currently being shared by sexual & domestic violence programs about Monkeypox in shelter spaces:

Click here for a highly-recommended piece that’s specific to programs & advocates who want to learn more about managing Monkeypox in shared living areas.

Here’s more helpful information to share around your shelter space, with shelter staff, and beyond:

    • There are mutations to the virus (similar to the various COVID strains we’ve witnessed), and these each uniquely affect how easily Monkeypox is transmissible. In general, Monkeypox can be stable for days to weeks on surfaces.
      * For things like a community fridge in a shelter, it is recommended that each individual / family uses a mini-fridge or something to which only they have access. Current messages surrounding Monkeypox are focused on sustained physical contact; however, if at all possible, it is best practice to find new & inventive ways of stopping any unnecessary shared exposure & stopping the cross-touching of objects.
    • Symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later. Rash locations include on or near the genitals, anus, hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.
    • Getting vaccinated if you were exposed to Monkeypox or are at higher risk of being exposed to Monkeypox can help protect you and your community.
    • A dashboard, where you can find the number of cases in Idaho, and available vaccine doses per health district can be found here.

Next month, our organization is joining a webinar focused on Monkeypox. Emily Mosites, Epidemiologist and Senior Advisor on Special Populations at the CDC, will be our presenter.

After learning more, we’ll find ways to spread what we learn, disseminate any resources we gain, and share any questions we still may be able to answer together.

This article was curated by Nisha, a community changemaker & caretaker who works with us as a Social Change Communications Associate. If you’d like to connect with Nisha about the information in this article (or about areas of their expertise), their email is nisha@engagingvoices.org & their availability calendar is shared here.


More Resources for Idaho Communities

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As you may know, we are building a new list of advocate resources for programs across Idaho to utilize. Below, we are sharing three more resources that could help the communities you serve. Please lean on these resources as you want & need, and please feel invited to share these community tools with other advocates you work alongside:
Earlier this year, Boise City Council approved more than $34 million in American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funding for Boise families hit hardest by the pandemic. Knowing that access to quality mental health services has declined for too many Boiseans over the course of the pandemic, they set aside $2 million to directly support organizations providing mental health services to low-income, underserved, uninsured, and/or underinsured individuals and families.
Together, we will address the biggest challenges our community is facing and create a shared vision of a city’s future where everyone can thrive. Grant applications are now open for our local nonprofits and service providers to provide expanded mental health services. Note: This resource is specific to Boise.
MoneyGeek has worked with several experts to focus on the most pressing issues facing queer & trans communities, and they will continue to publish to provide education & support to LGBTQIA people. Through collaboration that centers queer & trans people, MonkeyGeek is providing links that offer finance insight to folks who are LGBTQIA+ & their aspiring comrades:
The Black Liberation Collective (BLC) of Idaho is an organization that’s led by Black trans youth who are queer, disabled, survivors of violence amongst a myriad of other minoritized identities. Together, they have built a statewide structure that defies the odds & supports more Black folks in Idaho each month. Since January of this year alone, BLC has distributed over $27,000 through mutual aid stipends to Black & African people who are facing a financial crisis. 
Beyond mutual aid stipends, BLC also offers a long list of Idaho-based resources that may be able to provide safe(r) support to Black & African diasporas. The mutual aid stipend application can be found here, and the list of community resources can be found here. Questions can be best directed to blackliberationcollectiveid@gmail.com.
Non-Black people are strongly suggested to donate to keep this mutual aid structure afloat. Their Venmo username is @BlackLiberationCo.

This article was put together by various staff members. If you’d like to connect with us about this article (or find out more about our areas of expertise), our emails & availability calendars can be found here.


Training & Events

a black & white graphic of a microphone & sound waves (symbolizing a podcast, song, etc.)Combating Grind Culture | Podcast Episode

Blanca Valentin, a licensed mental health clinical who has practices in the Boston area for over 20 years, talks about mindfulness, healing circles, and restorative/transformative justice approaches. She speaks about inviting staff to bring their haling practices to the workplace as a way of combating grind culture. Why? To shake the stigmas, recognize power, and begin healthy journeys to wellness in the workplace.

Click here to stream this podcast episode.

a black & white icon of a calendarAdvocacy 101 Training | September 7-8

The two-day Advocacy 101 Training will cover topics such as a shared understanding about how racism and oppression affect advocacy, dynamics of gender based violence, advocate privilege, & mandatory reporting in Idaho, and will close with a panel of current Idaho advocates sharing their wisdom with new advocates.

The Idaho Coalition will cover lodging, mileage, and per diem for up to 2-3 advocates per program. If you’d like to learn more about this space, email Kailey. 

a black & white icon of a calendar17th Annual #DVCounts Survey Day | September 7

We’re excited to gear up for the next DV Counts season because this survey reports the number of people who sought services in a single 24-hour period, as well as the types of services requested, the number of service requests that went unmet due to a lack of resources, and the issues & barriers that domestic violence programs face as they strive to provide services to victims of domestic violence.

Please save the date for the 17th Annual DV Counts Survey Day & reach out to our beloved Kailey with any questions in the meantime.


Idaho Coalition Store Materials

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Reminder: Shipping for all materials on our website store is FREE for Programs. Please use the coupon below for all orders.

Visit the online store for the Idaho Coalition to check out what materials are available for order.

For store questions, please contact us.

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