PULLMAN, Wash. — University of Idaho students now need to look elsewhere to find birth control.
The closest location U of I students can get birth control without a prescription is at Planned Parenthood in Pullman. At the clinic, patients are able to access abortion services, STD testing and UTI treatment.
But, the service U of I students may be using more now is getting birth control.
The Vice President of Communications for Planned Parenthood Paul Dillon says this could add to the already increased clientele the Pullman clinic sees.
"We have seen a steady increase in patients from Idaho at the Pullman clinic, especially this summer, where from July to August, we saw about 62%, up to 78% patient increase," Dillon said. "And that has continued to rise over the last year."
Dillon says U of I students are paying the price of extreme politicians.
"Extreme politicians, playing politics with people's lives," Dillon said. "We've seen censorship around the country in our schools and the state of Idaho is hellbent on trying to push these draconian laws and this is not what the majority of Idahoans want. It's certainly not what the majority of students at the University of Idaho want."
Dillon says his team is continuing to monitor the impact of Idaho's trigger ban on eastern Washington and reminding patients the Pullman clinic is a resource available to all.
"We are really fortunate to have a great partnership with the University of Idaho and communities in Idaho," Dillon said. "And that's not going to stop."
He says Planned Parenthood plans to challenge these guidelines and ask university officials more questions.
Dillon emphasized that Planned Parenthood's presence isn't going away, including the student chapter that's on the University of Idaho's campus. He says conversations with chapter advisors and attorneys will be Planned Parenthood's next steps.
Gritman Medical Center, which provides contracted healthcare services for U of I students, sent KREM 2 the following statement regarding the new guidance:
Gritman Medical Center provides contracted health care services for the University of Idaho community through our Vandal Health clinic on the U of I campus.
Providers, clinicians and staff at the Vandal Health Clinic provide health care services in accordance with applicable state and federal laws. These services include access to contraceptives and other forms of birth control, as prescribed by a licensed clinician.
The methods in which we provide health care services to students and others at our Vandal Health clinic will continue to comply with all state and federal laws and will not change as a result of the memo sent out recently by the University of Idaho’s leadership.
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