Second Idaho hospital will no longer deliver babies

A second hospital in the state has announced it will no longer deliver babies: "It has been increasingly difficult and unsustainably expensive to recruit and retain a full team of high quality, broad-spectrum nurses to work in a rural setting where nurses need to be proficient in many different fields."

The Idaho Capital Sun reports that the Idaho Legislature is not finished, either: it is "on track to defund research into preventing maternal deaths" and will not extend postpartum Medicaid coverage.

Like many rural hospitals, Valor Health has taken multiple hits in recent years. The COVID-19 pandemic, a shortage of staff and nurses who can deliver babies, and the revenue challenges that have dogged rural health care for decades are among the factors the hospital referenced in an announcement posted to its website. …There are several hospitals within an hour of Emmett, including hospitals operated by St. Luke's and Saint Alphonsus health systems, which have invested heavily in maternity care in the past decade.

Valor Health didn't cite the new anti-abortion laws putting its maternity ward out of commission, though the other hospital was more forthright about that.

For young women, the message could not be clearer: leave the state, before it's too late.