By George Prentice
“Maybe,” said Bruce Wingate. “Maybe this is the year.”
Wingate took a long breath and looked down at the draft of a measure that’s certain to trigger a fierce debate in the coming weeks of the 2019 Idaho Legislature.
“You know what? Forget I said ‘maybe.’ It can’t be ‘maybe’ anymore. It has to be ‘possibly,'” he said. “Yes, that’s it: ‘possibly.'”
Wingate’s “possibly” sounded a lot more optimistic than his “maybe” had a year ago. That’s when his organization, Protect Idaho Kids, was prepping for the fight of its life, pushing back against Idaho’s so-called faith-healing exemptions. To be more precise, Wingate stressed, “it’s the fight for the lives of Idaho children” who’ve been denied life-saving medical care in lieu of faith healing. On February 21, 2018, Wingate and nearly 100 others carried 183 tiny, empty coffins up Capitol Boulevard and stacked them on the steps of the Idaho Statehouse—one coffin for each Idaho infant, child or teen that, according to PIK, had died since the exemptions were put into place in the 1970s. The February demonstration was sobering, and the words shared there were as bone-chilling as the single-digit temperature.
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